More resources from the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation (OPCF) will be allocated to the regeneration of marine ecology in South Asia after the disastrous tsunami. Over the past 10 years, the OPCF has supported more than 50 scientific research projects on the conservation and management of marine mammals and their natural habitats in the Southeast Asian region. Speaking at the 10th Ocean Park Conservation Day last weekend, Nora Tam, trustee chair of the OPCF, said they would allocate more resources and funding for studying the impact of the Asian tsunami on marine ecology to help the rebuilding efforts. 'The tragedy has left the coastal regions of South Asia in massive need of reconstruction,' said Professor Tam. 'In our long-term conservation efforts, we need to rebuild the coral reefs and fragile coastal ecosystems so that the environment is better than before for both the animal and human communities.' OPCF supports a variety of studies on marine mammals in Asian waters, including Chinese white dolphins, finless porpoises, dugongs and irrawaddy dolphins. It also focuses on marine conservation and education through an annual award scheme programme. In the next two years, one-tenth of OPCF's scientific research funding will be dedicated to related projects. Meanwhile, six students from the University of Hong Kong have been selected to take part in the newly launched University Student Sponsorship Programme in Marine Conservation. The students will be divided into three groups, each with an undergraduate and a post-graduate student. They will work on projects related to dolphins and other marine mammals in Cambodia and Thailand. They will learn applied research methodology, including aerial surveys, boat surveys, photographic identification and environmental data collection on the field and will share their experience and findings with other students and the public upon return. The Ocean Park Conservation Day is an annual highlight of OPCF's awareness programme in the conservation of endangered marine mammals in Hong Kong and Asian waters. On the second Saturday of each January, the park will donate the gate receipts to the OPCF.