Case Study: Dolphins or Airports

Michael Williamson (
Mon, 30 Mar 1995 12:25:30

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Date: Thu, 30 Mar 1995 12:28:11 -0500 (EST)
From: Michael Williamson <WHE_WILLIAM@FLO.ORG>
Subject: Case Study: Dolphins or Airports
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From:	SMTP%"MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET" 30-MAR-1995 11:00:16.51
Subj:	Re: Chinese Pink Dolphins
Date:         Thu, 30 Mar 1995 14:21:37 +0800
Reply-To:     Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
Sender:       Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
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From:         Chris Parsons <delphis@HK.Super.NET>
Subject:      Re: Chinese Pink Dolphins
To:           Multiple recipients of list MARMAM <MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET>
In-Reply-To:  <>
On Tue, 28 Mar 1995 wrote:
>  Being new to this list, I am not sure whether you have discussed this
> topic before; please forgive me if so.
>  There is a little known type of dolphin that may be a sub-species of
> Sousa chinensis living in the Pearl River Delta, specifically off Lantau
> island in Hong Kong. There are perhaps up to 80 individuals. New born
> calves are dark grey, changing to dramatic pink as they grow older. Each
> dolphin has distinctive freckles and patches of purpley-grey. Due to the
> effects of :
>  -Pollution
>  -Habitat degradation
>  -Depletion of fish stocks
> the future of these beautiful mammals is far from assured. The WorldWide
> Fund for Nature Hong Kong is attempting to save these dolphins, so any
> offers of help would be appreciated.
> Rob Rushton
> Hong Kong
The latest information on this dolphin population:
The Provisional Airport Authority has been given permission by the
government to build an aviation fuel recieving teminal off the island of
Sha Chau, which is one of the areas of highest distribution. After
lobbying from Hong Kong's Environmental groups the Airport Authority
agreed to fund a 1000ha dolphin Sanctuary in this area, although the
construction of the 600m long tanker terminal will still go ahead. One local
conservationist is quoted as saying "to build a sanctuary around an oil
tanker terminal is like turning a car park into a nature reserve". Bernd
Wuersig acted as an advisor to the Airport Authority and stated that he
didn't think the terminal and associated works (ie. pipeline, cables,
dredging) would have any impact on the dolphins.
The present count for HK Sousa chinensis population is 84 (Lindsay Porter
pers. comm.). In 1993 6 Sousa carcasses were found and last year 7 carcasses
were reported (Parsons, Felley & Porter in prep). The actual number of
is likely to be considerably larger. It doesn't take much maths to work
out that this, together with the dramatic increase in development and
pollution in Hong Kong, could spell the end of this local population
before long.
For further information you can contact:
The Dolphin Research Group,
Swire Institute of Marine Science,
Cape D' Aguilar,
Shek O,
Hong Kong.
or E-mail me at