About 700 harbour conservationists staged a protest march in Central yesterday to warn the public not to drop its guard against further reclamation by the government to build high-rise buildings on the waterfront. Led by a parade band, the protesters walked more than 2km from the new Star Ferry pier in Central to Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai, where they concluded with a fun fair. It was the fifth annual 'Walk for the Harbour' organised by the Society for Protection of the Harbour, which was set up in 1995 to fight reclamation of Victoria Harbour, and which has blocked government reclamation projects several times. The march was supposed to follow the Central waterfront, but protesters were unable to see the waterfront because much of it is still a construction site, with hoardings blocking views of the harbour. Society chairwoman Christine Loh Kung-wai said: 'Although the government has stopped reclaiming our harbour, our work is not over. We hope to convey the message of anti-reclamation, and arouse public awareness of the issue. 'We should continue closely monitoring the government to make sure the new waterfront will be used by the public and not be sold for developers to build high-rise buildings,' said Loh, who sponsored the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance when she was a legislator in the pre-handover era. The society said it was excited by yesterday's turnout. Among those taking part in the march were Democratic Party legislator Lee Wing-tat, anti-reclamation activist and Southern district councillor Paul Zimmerman of the Civic Party, and the chairman of the government-appointed Harbourfront Commission, Nicholas Brooke. Controversy arose recently after the government hinted that traffic congestion in Central was partly due to the delay in building the Central-Wan Chai bypass due to a series of court actions taken by the society. A public consultation is under way on means to improve traffic flow among the three harbour tunnels. But officials have said there is little the Western Harbour Tunnel can contribute at this stage because the existing road network outside the tunnel cannot take more traffic, despite the tunnel operating at only a quarter of its capacity. More measures could be considered after the Central-Wan Chai bypass opens in 2017. Loh argued yesterday that the society should not be blamed for the congestion, and rejected suggestions that it should be as 'nonsense'. The society has said it challenges government reclamation because it is against the law and that the delay in building the bypass is due to government reluctance to obey the law. In his policy address last month, Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen revealed plans for reclamation outside Victoria Harbour to generate more land for housing. Loh said that while the harbour protection law could not limit reclamation outside the harbour, she believed people's awareness of the impact of reclamation on the environment had risen a lot. 'People will still ask questions and the government will also have to explain clearly why such reclamation is needed.'