With the announcement of the world's longest sea bridge opening this week connecting Hong Kong to Macau, it's sad to see the contrast between the human achievement of engenuity and the depletion of more natural habitat.
Here, in these Hong Kong waters, is one of the last ranges of the Chinese white dolphin (Sousa chinensis), also known as the pink dolphin due to its unique pigmentation. In the last six years alone, the population of these beautiful cetaceans has decreased by around 40%, due to pollution, ship activity, fishing, and habitat loss. When I went went on one of the dolphin watches in 2012, there were around 60-70 individuals left in the area; still a devastatingly low number, but nothing compared to the recent loss, which has seen their numbers decline to around 45 individuals.
We can't always get back what we have lost, but we can certainly try to prevent such devastating losses in the future. Although the Hong Kong dolphinwatch group hosts trips to see the pod and raise awareness, little else is being done in the region to safeguard this population. I wish I could end this post on a more positive note...but it makes me sad and angry to think that these guys might not be there the next time I come home.
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