An Acoustic Survey for Finless Porpoise (Neophocaena Phocasenodes) in HK SAR Coastal Waters  

Project Title: An Acoustic Survey for Finless Porpoise (Neophocaena Phocasenodes) in HK SAR Coastal Waters

Applicant: World Wide Fund for Nature

Total Approved Grant: $119,550

Duration: 04/03/98 to 07/05/98

Project Status/Remarks: Completed

Scope: To contribute in protecting the environment by providing baseline information to the Agriculture and Fisheries Department Finless Propoise consultants as well as to facilitate the establishment of Hong Kong's Marine Parks strategy.

Summary of the Findings/Outcomes: The survey concluded that acoustic detection was far more efficient than visual detection and that without acoustic assistance, very few porpoises would be seen. The last two surveys conducted in May showed a decrease in the number of acoustic encounters made and a change of distribution from south-western of distribution to south -eastern waters. However, it could not be determined whether this shift was temporary or part of the population's seasonal movements. Finless Porpoise had a destructive lick-train, very similar to that of Harbour Porpoise, which was used when feeding. If further investigation revealed that these vocalisations were specific to feeding, as they were for Harbour Porpoise, it would be possible to fefine porpoise feeding areas by acoustic detection alone.