“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.”
– 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.