Sha Chau and Lung Kwu Chau Marine Park (since 1996)
Chinese White Dolphin
Sha Chau and Lung Kwu Chau Marine Park is one of the important habitats in the western water for the Chinese White Dolphin. Distribution of the dolphins is related to the freshwater input from the Pearl River. The majority of dolphin sighting appears on the eastern coast , the northwest and southwestern tips of Lung Kwu Chau; and near the northeast and southwest coast of Sha Chau. The estimated abundance of dolphins in Hong Kong waters ranges from 88 in spring to 145 in summer.
According to research record, the oldest Chinese White Dolphin found in Hong Kong was 33 years old. Calves are dark grey in colour which lightens with age. Adult males may retain some grey spots while adult female dolphins are usually pink. The pink colour is due to the proximity of blood capillaries to the body surface.
The social structure of the dolphins is relatively dynamic and there is frequent change in the membership of the social group, except for the bond between the mother and calves. Some dolphins were observed associated with fishing vessels as they may feed on the prey stirred-up by, or confined in the fishing nets. Twenty estuarine fish species in 13 families have been identified as food for the dolphins which are also common species found in the western part of Hong Kong.
The discharge from the Pearl River resulted in high organic levels in the western waters. Rich diversity of plant and animal species is recorded and the waters is also an essential nursery grounds for many coastal and oceanic fish and shellfish species. Sha Chau and Lung Kwu Chau Marine Park is rich in fisheries resources. According to our fishing surveys, Croaker is the most abundant fish in Sha Chau and Lung Kwu Chau Marine Park. Other common marine fishes found in this area include:
Belanger's croaker ( Johnius belangerii ) ; Japanese sillago ( Sillago japonica ) ; Striped eel catfish ( Plotosus lineatus ) ; Japanese meagre ( Argyrosomus japonicus ) ; Yellowfin seabream ( Acanthopagrus latus ) ; Daggertooth pike conger ( Muraenesox cinereus ) ; Bartail flathead ( Platycephalus indicus ) ; Shortnose ponyfish ( Leiognathus brevirostris ) ; Lattice puffer ( Takifugu oblongus ) and Jarbua terapon ( Terapon jarbua ) .