Re ECF Project: ECF 2016-79

Project Title: Assessing the Marine Biodiversity and Ecology of Tolo Harbour and Channel, with Particular Reference to Coastal Marine Environments of Ting Kok and Shuen Wan Hoi – Phase II

Applicant: Prof Gray A WILLIAMS, The Swire Institute of Marine Science, The University of Hong Kong

Total Approved Grant: $4,233,490

Duration: 1/4/2017 to 30/9/2018

Project Status/Remarks: On-going

The overarching goal of this proposed study, together with Phase I, is to provide a holistic picture of the current ecological status as well as the economic value of marine resources, and to identify important or vulnerable species and significant habitats, in the Tolo area through standardized scientific methodologies. Specifically, there are seven study objectives:

1. To build a multidisciplinary team which will foster capacity building among scientists, the local fishermen community and relevant stakeholders for intellectual discussion, knowledge exchange, research collaboration and to achieve consensus in recommendations made;

2. To create a central,catalogued species inventory (including both the Site of Special Scientific Interests (SSSI) in Ting Kok, and the Tolo area) for scientific, conservation and educational purposes;

3. To document temporal and spatial variations in marine biodiversity in the study area and understand site‐specific variations of marine biodiversity in various typical habitats;

4. To identify species and biological communities, in particular those that are threatened, rare or endemic to Hong Kong in the study area;

5. To identify hotspot(s) of marine biodiversity and site(s) of special value based on the results of this proposed study and on relevant studies in other coastal areas in Hong Kong;

6. To assess the economic value of marine resources in the study area; and

7. To establish this study as a template of good practice (i.e., by generating a set of standardized, scientifically sound methods) for future biodiversity assessments (e.g., EIAs, ecological monitoring programmes, etc.) in Hong Kong’s marine communities in order to achieve the goal of better monitoring and management of ecological resources addressed by the Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (BSAP) under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Summary of the Findings/Outcomes:
To be available upon completion of the project