Background Application Documents Funded Projects Committees Meetings Meetings

List of Projects Funded by the Marine Ecology Enhancement Fund

2022 - 2023 | 2021 - 2022 | 2020 - 2021 | 2019 - 2020 | 2018 - 2019 | 2017 - 2018
Reference No. /
Project Title
Project Description Applicant Organisation Funded Amount (HK$) Completion Report
Tracing a Novel Group of E-Waste Contaminants - Liquid Crystal Monomers - in the Chinese White Dolphins*
This is part of a multi-year project, aiming to determine the occurrences and distributions of emerging organic contaminants related to electronic waste (e-waste) and liquid crystal monomers (LCMs) in Chinese White Dolphins (CWDs) within the western Hong Kong and Pearl River Estuary waters. LCMs are key components in the manufacture of liquid crystal display panel. To evaluate the current levels of LCMs contamination in the CWDs and predict their potential sources, this study will assess the composition profiles of commonly found LCMs in the CWDs, in comparison with the real LCMs mixtures extracted from different electronic devices obtained from the local market. This study will provide critical information for preliminary assessment on the potential threat of LCMs towards the CWDs, as well as for the recycling, disposal, and management of e-wastes in Hong Kong, contributing to the conservation and enhancement of marine lives. City University of Hong Kong 625,000 (For Year 22/23)
Save Our Shells: Repurposing Shells to Reduce Landfill Waste and Restore Marine Habitats*
This is part of a multi-year project and Hong Kong’s first shell recycling program aiming to recycle discarded shellfish shells from the local aquaculture and food industry, which are normally destined to the landfills or discarded as trash on the shoreline; and to repurpose them into substrate for new and living reefs in Hong Kong waters. These reefs will in turn provide a boon of benefits, serving as habitat for juvenile fish and other marine life, serve as natural filter feeders that improve local water quality and stabilize shorelines. The project will also increase public awareness on the importance of shellfish reefs and estuarine ecology by engaging volunteers and organising activities to help collect and prepare collected shells for reef deployment. The Nature Conservancy Hong Kong Foundation Limited 1,000,000 (For Year 22/23)
Population structure and Further Studies on Reproductive Biology of the Octocoral Guaiagorgia in Hong Kong Western Waters
Coral coverage has long been used to assess and determine the health of coral communities. However, coral cover alone does not necessarily provide information on other important aspects of coral biology, i.e., colony size and their size-frequency distribution. These information are important in helping to understand ecological processes such as recruitment and reproductive capacity, allowing us to assess population responses to local environmental conditions and disturbances. Octocoral assemblages have a fundamental ecological role as habitat providers that support high biodiversity. Guaiagorgia the only gorgonian species found in western waters of Hong Kong and not anywhere else within Hong Kong. Understanding its reproductive biology and quantifying its colony size-frequency distribution can provide additional clue to explain its potential mode of recruitment, i.e. being a spawner or a brooder. This in turn is crucial in assessing the potential ability of the populations to recover naturally after disturbances. This information is thus essential in the design of strategic plan for its conservation and protection. The Chinese University of Hong Kong 499,100
Genetic connectivity of octocoral populations in South and Western Hong Kong water: implications to conservation management of deep-water community
Population genetics play an important role in conservation and restoration. Assessing genetic structure among populations lies the fundamental understanding to population dynamics that helps to target the preservation of genetic diversity and integrity of populations. The octocoral community are a dominant ecosystem in the western and southern deep-water region of Hong Kong given their higher tolerance to lower salinity and turbid water in the west, of which they provide shelters and feeding ground for other organisms. However, the genetic diversity and connectivity among local octocoral populations is poorly known, especially between western, southern and eastern waters that exhibit differentiated salinity and turbidity that may restrict larval dispersal. This has major implications for the population sustainability and recovery by larval dispersal and hence the design of protected populations/area. The proposed study to investigate the population genetic structure of two octocoral species in the Pearl River estuary (PRE), covering the western and southern waters of Hong Kong, using low coverage whole genome sequence data. This information will be useful in identifying the sinks and sources dynamics which will provide insights on future conservation and management efforts, including but not limited to marine park and special area designation, or transplantation. The Chinese University of Hong Kong 595,100
Shells for understanding Lantau subtidal ecosystem history: Part 2. Hong Kong wide comparison
This project aims to determine the difference in natural baseline of marine ecosystem between the northwestern and southeastern areas of Lantau through Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dating of dead shells of selected molluscan species, from surface sediments around Lantau and other parts in Hong Kong to analyse their distributions with time. Results will provide baseline information of their distribution before human impact and the subsequent human-induced ecosystem/distributional changes. The past distributional changes of key species in Hong Kong will be illustrated and mapped, illustrating the natural baseline and quantifying anthropogenic impacts on subtidal macrobenthic distributions. These results will help to understand the natural baseline habitat of Chinese White Dolphin and other key stone organisms such as finless porpoise and corals. The University of Hong Kong 633,400
Shore up with shells: enhancing marine biodiversity on artificial rip-rap seawalls with a nature-based approach
The main objectives of the study are:1) to rehabilitate the biodiversity of rip-rap seawalls and 2) to use this rehabilitation trial as a platform for general public education and engagement in local coastal restoration and conservation. For biodiversity rehabilitation the study will test different designs and arrangements of oyster shell installations that are both cost-effective and non-intrusive to riprap seawalls. Oyster shells by nature provide a complex substratum for marine organisms to live, with high potential to enhance biodiversity and increase ecosystem functioning/services such as water bio-filtration, biomass, carbon storage and nursery ground for marine species. For public education and engagement, the study will mobilize community participation through offering school talks, trainings, and hands-on field work for students and volunteers. The findings and implementation protocols of this study will be shared to relevant stakeholders and serve as a reference for future enhancements on riprap seawalls in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Marine Ecological Association Limited 499,400
Eyes in the Sky Keep Flying: Expanding UAV Surveys and the Development of a Longer Endurance Automated Platform to Monitor Hong Kong Marine Mammals
The purpose of this project is to use Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) to collect imagery from which Chinese white dolphin (CWD) density estimates could be calculated. During the UAV surveys for dolphins, porpoise imagery was collected too, which is also suitable for porpoise density calculation. This project aims to capture UAV imagery of CWD and expand the surveys into southern and eastern Hong Kong waters to encompass more finless porpoise habitat and to improve density estimation for both species. This project will utilise existing UAV assets and develop a long-range UAV platform to tackle the more challenging environment of southern and eastern Hong Kong waters. Algorithms to automatically analyse UAV imagery for dolphins and porpoise will also be developed. The progress and results of this project will contribute to secondary school students and an online resource platform suitable for the science curriculum in secondary schools will be developed. VISCO Development Limited 935,149.6

* 2nd Phase of Project
** Completion Report to be published upon the submission by Applicant Organisation and acceptance of Marine Ecology Enhancement Fund Management Committee