¡§The environment is, arguably, our only legacy to our children; and during our brief span of life it is our duty to protect and conserve it, so that the following generations may find it even more worth cherishing.¡¨
¡V Brian Morton: The future of the Hong Kong Seashore, 1979
Saving Dolphins (by Janet Walker)
The Marine Department's comment that dolphins are smart and know how to get out of the way of oncoming high speed ferries (June 2nd, 2007) shows an amazing lack of knowledge or concern for the environment under their care. We humans are upposed to be smart, yet thousands of us are killed by vehicles every year - it's the same problem: too much traffic & too many careless drivers.
Unfortunately, as Gordon Andreassend points out (June7th), there are many other problems to address too, if we want to think about saving the dolphins. Along with the existing problems of under-treated sewage, ferry traffic, over-fishing and net entanglement, everything now on the drawing board for Lantau needs to be reassessed. The Lantau Concrete (sorry, Concept) Development Plan is a piecemeal notion that talks of developing the north while "creating" eco-tourism in the south. We already HAVE eco tourism in the north - and it wasn't artificially created, the dolphins are indigenous inhabitants - but they get in the way of "progress". Has anyone ever done an EIA on the cumulative effects of all the development being thrown Lantau's way? From the airport and Disney through to the Macau-Zhuhai bridge, the Exxon-CLP 38 km pipeline from the Sokos to Black Point, and container terminal 10 at Tai O - these are all just a few more nails in the dolphins' coffin. It is ironic that in the UN International Year of the Dolphin and the 10th anniversary of the Handover year (remember the cute pink mascots?), those nails are going in as fast as we can hammer them.
Hong Kong Dolphinwatch
Stop the Senseless Slaughter of Dolphins in Japan
Dolphin's tears - massive slaughter in Japan every year Oct-Mar
Join Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to stop the dolphin slaughter! On 20th September 2006, an international day of protest called Japan Dolphin Day was held to urge Japanese authorities to ban the slaughter of dolphins.
Every year from October till March, Japanese fishermen in Futo, Iki, Taijin etc are brutally killing thousands of small whales and dolphins. Japanese fishermen herd whole families and pods of dolphins, porpoises and small whales into shallow bays and mercilessly hack them to death (see the cruelty). Most of these small cetaceans are sold as meat in restaurants and stores, while some are destined for a life in captivity.
Please help to save the dolphins and whales from the slaughter by sending a letter, e-mail or fax to the Prime Minister of Japan, the Minister of Fisheries, your local embassy or consulate and other Japanese officials.
Prime Minister of Japan
Mr. Junichiro Koizumi,
1-6-1 Nagata-cho 1 Chome
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo . 100-8968 Japan
Taiji Fishery Cooperative
Wakayama, 649-5171 Japan
Tel: +81.735.59.3517 Fax: +81 735 59 3018
Minister of Fisheries
Mr. Yoshiyuki Kamei
1-2-1 Ksumigaseki 1 Chrome
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. 100-8907 Japan
Tel:+81-3-3502-8111. Fax: +81-3-3502-8220
Mr. Yoshiki Kimura, the governor of Wakayama
Prefectural Office of Wakayama
1-1 Komatsubaradouri, Wakayama-shi
Wakayama-ken, 640-8269 Japan
Tel: +81-73-441-2034 Fax:+81-73-423-9500
These unnecessary killing against nature are unacceptable to the world -- STOP THE DOLPHIN SLAUGHTER NOW!! For more information and details, please visit http://www.seashepherd.org/taiji/
Stop The Slaughter
Join WDCS-Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society on the 8th October 2005, for an international day of protest against the killing of dolphins and small whales in Japanese waters.
WDCS were represented at a peaceful protest in London, which took place outside the Japanese embassy and WDCS had invited all our supporters and those concerned about this issue to join them.
Over 400,000 dolphins and small whales have been killed in Japanese waters in the last 20 years. Slaughtered for human consumption, pet food, fertilizer and even as pests, dolphins and small whales are being targeted by inhumane hunts that could put their survival in these waters at risk.
Please help WDCS stop this slaughter, either by sending a letter of protest to the Japanese Embassy. For details, please go to: http://uk.wdcs.org/go/NL050908hunts
Sign petition to prevent buying/catching wild pink dolphins and have them kept in captivity
Recently, a local media reported that Ocean Park, in order to compete with the Hong Kong Disneyland, has submitted a proposal to the Government for buying 33 species of animals, including the pink Chinese White Dolphins. If Hong Kong started to show pink dolphins, places in Mainland China and Southeast Asian countries would follow suit. This would lead to unsustainable catching of dolphins from the wild; the result could be devastating to the already endangered populations. Ocean Park may disguise it as a breeding programme, but decades of experience all around the world has proved that captive breeding simply doesn¡¦t work. Hong Kong Dolphinwatch Ltd is strongly against buying/catching wild pink dolphins and have them kept in captivity. Please read more about "wild vs captivity?" and help to support our petition to prevent this irresponsible act. Thank you!
You can write to: The Director, Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department, Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices, 303 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Fax: (852) 2730-3256 Email: email@example.com
or you can download, sign our petition letter and send it back to us.
Cetacean Freedom Network
Support from our friend:
1. Ryo Gonishi, Japan
2. Deborah Angel, USA
Send petition for preserving our Lantau and the dolphins' habitat
Hong Kong Dolphinwatch Ltd.'s opinion and stand-point
In spite of the Government and the Financial Secretary¡¦s frequently emphasizing Lantau¡¦s immense value in natural beauty and cultural heritage and the need to conserve them, one quick glance at the Concept Plan tells you that the amount of proposed development (which inevitably translates to destruction of the natural environment and coastline) outweighs conservation concerns tremendously. It just makes all of us wonder how sincere the Government is about preserving the remaining natural beauty and delicate natural resources of Lantau.
We have sent our opinion to the Government and have signed up the Joint Statement on Sustainable Development for Lantau. Though the consultation has ended, HKDW joins other green groups and concerned individuals in fighting for saving Lantau from any environmental destruction. Please lend a hand by keep sending your views to the government and the media, and sign petitions.
You can write to: Lantau and Islands District Planning Office, Planning Department, 15/F, Sha Tin Government Offices,
No.1, Sheung Wo Che Road, Sha Tin, New Territories, Hong Kong
Fax: (852) 2890-5194 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
or Mr Henry Tang, Financial Secretary, 12/F, Central Government Offices, West Wing, Lower Albert Road, Central, Hong Kong
Official web page for the concept plan for Lantau
Concept plan for Lantau by the Lantau Development Task Force
Hong Kong Outdoors - a sustainable development plan for Lantau, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Outdoors - Beautiful Lantau - and the Concrete Plans
Living Islands Movement - the battle for Lantau
Send letters for saving the dolphins
Points to note:
Be concise and polite.
Always include your address and full name and some very basic information about yourself ("I live in Hong Kong", "I am a student", "I am twelve years old"). This will help the reader of the letter realize that many separate individuals are writing.
The Director, Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department, Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices, 303 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Or fax: (852) 2730-3256. Or e-mail: email@example.com
Ask for: Additional marine reserves around Lantau; publication of a plan to fulfill Hong Kong's obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity (identify and monitor biological and genetic resources, set up protected areas to safeguard them, develop national strategies, plans, or programmes for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity); monitoring of fish stocks and regulation to prevent overfishing.
The Director, Environmental Protection Department, Southorn Centre, 24/F, 130 Hennessy Road, Hong Kong. Or fax: (852)2838-2155
Ask for: Strict monitoring of developments in or near coastal areas of North Lantau, Sha Chau, and Castle Peak; upgrading of sewage treatment for airport and North Lantau new towns, and for outfalls in Urmston Road area.
Mr Donald Tsang, Chief Executive, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, P.R. C., Central Government Offices.
Ask for: all of the above. A general reprioritization of environmental issues.
Sample letter for reference.
Director, National Environmental Protection Agency, China P.R.C.
Ask for: Stricter enforcement of effluent controls on the Pearl River, crackdown on suppliers and users of prohibited pesticides such as DDT.
The following groups are doing things to improve the lot of Hong Kong's dolphins, or at least to improve the marine environment in general:
Friends of the Earth (HK)
Hong Kong Marine Conservation Society
World Wide Fund for Nature (HK)
Ocean Park Conservation Foundation
The following groups are fighting for dolphins and whales all around the world:
Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society
Change your life
What can you do right now, and every day, to help the dolphins? Many things. Most of them may seem very small and insignificant, but if enough people do them, the effect can be enormous. Many of these things may not seem very relevant to dolphins, but nature works in mysterious ways, and things are more interconnected than you think.
Eat organic vegetables and fruits
Pesticides, especially organochlorines, can persist in the environment and often end up in the oceans.
The less water goes down your drain, the more efficiently your sewage system can treat sewage.
Eat less seafood
Much of our seafood is caught in destructive ways: dynamite fishing, cyanide fishing, and driftnets. Around the world, fisheries are being overexploited.
Use "cleaner" household cleansers
Read the labels on detergents, polishes, disinfectants, etc., and choose those that damage the environment less. Ask your local green group for advice.
Buy hemp clothing or unbleached cotton
Normal cotton is a very pesticide-intensive crop. Hemp is generally grown without pesticides. Bleaching fabrics is a very polluting process.
Don't buy shells, coral, or other marine animal products
By buying these things, you encourage people to go out and get more, this can often lead to destruction of the marine environment.
Cut down on consumption generally
Everything you buy is shipped around the world by airplane, boat, or truck. Manufacturing processes use up raw materials and create pollution. Think about this every time you want to buy something, and ask yourself how badly you need it.
Take fewer photographs
Ever wonder what happens to the chemicals they use to develop your film? I do. Why don't you ask the people who do it for you?
Cut down petroleum usage
Petroleum is shipped around the world in boats. Every once in a while, these boats crash, and spill tons of oil into the sea. If you used less, they'd ship less.