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HK corals healthy, stable

December 02, 2017
Coral check

Coral check:  A diver participating in the Reef Check records indicator species, coral coverage and the health status of the corals.

Local corals are generally in a healthy and stable condition and exhibit a rich diversity of fauna species, the Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department said today.


The department announced the results of this year’s Reef Check, a four-month exercise started in June that covered marine areas in the eastern part of Hong Kong extending from Tung Ping Chau in the north to the Ninepin Group in the south.


Among the 33 survey sites, nine were within the Hoi Ha Wan, Yan Chau Tong and Tung Ping Chau marine parks.


A variation in coral coverage, ranging from 11.4% to 83.5%, was recorded among the survey sites. Twenty sites recorded high coral coverage above 50%, and Sharp Island North recorded the highest coverage of 83.5%.


Most of the survey sites were found to have high species diversity. All of the 20 assigned indicator species were recorded in the survey sites, with wrasses, groupers, butterfly fish, sea urchins, sea cucumbers and cowries commonly found.


The check also assessed the condition of corals at 11 sites using the Coral Watch tool. The average health index of the nine sites was 4.09, similar to last year’s 4.11. It is well above the general average value of 3, indicating corals are in a healthy and stable condition.


Coral bleaching and some coral damage were observed at a few sites but the impact was minor and localised.


Seventy-two dive teams comprising more than 760 volunteer divers from different sectors of the community took part in the check this year.

Consume Wisely to Conserve Our Biological Resources