Background Application Documents Funded Projects Committees Meetings Meetings

List of Projects Funded by the Marine Ecology Enhancement Fund

2023 - 2024 | 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
Three-dimensional forensic scene investigation of marine vessel interaction in Indo-Pacific humpbacked dolphins and Indo-Pacific finless porpoises in the Hong Kong waters#
This is part of a multi-year project, focusing on three-dimensional forensic scene investigation of marine vessel interaction, by conducting matching analysis on injury on all cetaceans stranded in the HK waters, using 3-D models obtained from virtopsy and 3-D surface scanning datasets of the carcasses and suspected injury-inflicting instrument. In addition, spatio-temporal models of vessel interaction risk based on the overlap between cetacean population density/habitat use and marine traffic, and the unsuspected vessel interaction ‘hot spots’ will also be established and identified, which can complement information provided by postmortem investigations and eye-witness reports. This project is expected to achieve useful outcomes to facilitate related government departments and stakeholders to formulate and implement effective management plan for injury prevention for vulnerable local resident cetaceans in Hong Kong waters. City University of Hong Kong 1,022,007
(For Year 21/22)
Sea of Noise: Extended Screening of Documentary about Marine Noise Impacts on Chinese White Dolphins in the Pearl River Estuary*
This is part of a multi-year project, focusing on the production of a documentary of "Sea of Noise" based on the findings of study on the underwater noise impact on the Chinese White Dolphin population in the Pearl River Estuary, followed by screening and public education programme aiming to raise public awareness of regional cetacean conservation. Additional screenings have been included in this project phase which the project team aims to generate public support for a planned online petition and pledge, and hence encourage decision makers to adopt mitigation measures to alleviate underwater noise arising from coastal construction, marine traffic and dolphin ecotourism activities. World Wide Fund for Nature Hong Kong 322,363
(For Year 21/22)
Using New Tools to Monitor Human Behaviour in Critical Dolphin Habitat and Marine Protected Areas*
This is part of a multi-year project, aiming to modify and assess the use of acoustic devices for marine mammal detection to evaluate if the device can act as an efficient means of (a) informing management authorities of unlawful activities (such as illegal trawler operation) and (b) determining the risks of the spatial overlap between trawlers and dolphins. Southeast Asia Marine Mammal Research Limited 373,713 (For Year 21/22) **
Shells for understanding Lantau subtidal ecosystem history: a conservation baseline
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 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 448,320
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 39 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 499,776 (For Year 21/22)
Monitoring ecological impacts of heavy metal pollution on vulnerable seagrasses in Lantau Island and western Hong Kong
This project aims to use state-of-the-art molecular approaches to assess and monitor the ecological impacts of heavy metal pollution in populations of seagrasses in Lantau Island and western Hong Kong. Through a combination of stable isotopes, metagenomics, transcriptomics and chemical element analysis, important information about the health of local populations of seagrasses, their resilience and responses to heavy metal pollution, as well as the ecological impacts on the structure and function of seagrass-associated biodiversity will be studied. Findings of this project will generate quantitative data and tools that will allow scientists, stakeholders and decision-makers to develop policies and management strategies for conservation and restoration of seagrass meadows and mudflat ecosystems in Lantau Island and western Hong Kong. The University of Hong Kong 706,298
“Dolphin Messenger”: Ocean Literacy Programme for the primary and secondary schools
This project will integrate various pedagogies with an aim of enhancing the “Ocean Literacy” of local community, to develop teaching modules and materials on Chinese White Dolphins (CWDs) based on the primary and secondary schools’ curriculum in the subjects such as General Studies, Geography and Biology. The project will include school talks, teacher training (online and/or face-to-face), and student eco-docent workshops (online and/or face-to-face) for the primary and secondary school to deepen the participants’ understanding, as well as nurture their pro-environmental attitudes and life values on the local marine environment and the CWDs. The project will also offer the opportunities to the students to become a docent, sharing the information and knowledge about CWDs and marine conservation with the public through ecotourism. The Education University of Hong Kong 499,695
Impacts of climate change, water quality, and marine traffic on Cetacean population and distribution in Hong Kong
This project aims to assess the impact of water pollution, climate change and human disturbances on Cetacean population temporally and spatially from 1990 to 2020. Multivariate statistical, machine-learning techniques and multi-source datasets including meteorological and oceanic data from Hong Kong Observatory, water quality records from the Environmental Protection Department and maritime radio beacon signals as a proxy of marine traffic will be utilised to examine the interrelationships between these climatic and environmental variables with the number of dolphins sighted. This will help to understand and build predictive capacity for the drivers of Cetacean population and distribution in Hong Kong under simultaneous environmental changes. The Chinese University of Hong Kong 506,600
Environmental Tolerance of Octocoral Guaiagorgia in Hong Kong
Octocoral assemblages have a fundamental ecological role in the marine habitat that provides a complex three-dimensional structure to support high biodiversity. This project aims to study the responses of Guaiagorgia sp., an octocoral species which is abundantly found in Hong Kong western waters only, to changes in water salinities and temperatures; to learn how this species adapts in Hong Kong western waters and how a conservation plan could be implemented. The Chinese University of Hong Kong 499,540
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 800,000
(For Year 21/22)
Eyes in the Sky: Using UAV Imagery to Monitor Hong Kong’s dolphins and to conduct a school citizen science programme
This project aims to assess the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), often called ‘drones’, to collect imagery suitable for dolphin density estimation. This project will assess the use of different UAV, different cameras and, if viable, make a cost benefit analyses of data collected by UAV versus vessel-based surveys. The progress and results of this project will be developed into a student citizen science programme, aimed at secondary school science students. Southeast Asia Marine Mammal Research Limited 888,524

* 2nd Phase of Project
# 3rd Phase of Project
** Completion Report to be published upon the submission by Applicant Organisation and acceptance of Marine Ecology Enhancement Fund Management Committee