Updated on Mar 01, 2008 – SCMPOver the last 10 years the beaches and waterways in the Sai Kung Country Park have witnessed unprecedented growth in the activities of pleasure craft.
What a wonderful resource for those lucky enough to have access.
With this increase, unfortunately, we are witnessing a shocking rise in marine pollution as well.
Many of these otherwise pristine locations are now gasping under raw sewage from the attending boats.
Not only has the number of boats increased, so too has the size, with even ferries from Central and Kowloon bringing thousands of lucky passengers to these Hong Kong jewels.
With this massive pressure being brought to bear I believe it is time to introduce holding tanks for all vessels that have on-board toilets.
With hundreds of tonnes of effluent polluting our beaches from these boats, the jewel is quickly losing its attraction.
With a second pier now under construction in Sai Kung, even more boats can be expected to populate these beaches and waterways.
If we are to save our environment then let the government act swiftly to legislate that all vessels with access to these areas be compliant with holding tanks, and provide suitable facilities ashore to process the contents of these tanks.
A recent memorandum from Sai Kung District Council included the following: “The Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) will construct a second public pier in Sai Kung.
“The committee suggested that the `hollow’ design be adopted for the pier in order to reduce the impact on the flow of water in the vicinity.”
I applaud both the district council and CEDD for the environmental concern they are showing regarding the “flow of water”, but seriously, the impact of the second pier and the marine traffic it will generate in this precious area is of a hugely more devastating concern.
Would the Environmental Protection Department care to comment?
Jon Martin, Sai Kung