17th Ocean Park Conservation Day
OPCFHK celebrated the 17th Ocean Park Conservation Day on 14 and 15 January 2012 under the theme of Chinese white dolphin conservation. The day also marked a new chapter in the regional conservation of Chinese white dolphin through partnerships with universities and researchers, governments as well as corporations and individuals.

Together, we make a difference!
As in past years, Ocean Park donated the admission revenue of 14 January 2012, which is the second Saturday of the year, to support our Asian conservation efforts.

Dr. Allan Zeman, GBM, GBS, JP (4th from left), Chairman of Ocean Park, Mr. Tom Mehrmann (3rd from left), Chief Executive of Ocean Park and Mr. Matthias Li (2nd from left), Deputy Chief Executive of Ocean Park, presented a cheque representing the entire sum of Ocean Park’s admission revenue for 14 January 2012 to OPCFHK. Ms Judy Chen (4th from right), Chair of OPCFHK, Mr. Richard Tsang (3rd from right), Mrs. Monica Lee-Müller (2nd from right) and Ms Rainy Chan (1st from right), Trustees of OPCFHK received the cheque on behalf of OPCFHK.
OPCFHK Launches China's Largest DNA Bank for Chinese White Dolphins – Revealing their Low Genetic Diversity
Thanks to donation from ANZ Hong Kong, OPCFHK is able to sponsor Sun Yat-sen University to establish China’s largest Chinese white dolphin DNA bank. This genetic research project offers the scientific community a standardised genetic analysis platform to identify the relationship amongst different populations of Chinese white dolphin that will help assess their sustainability. The collected data will provide important reference to governments in the region for developing critical strategies for conservation.

Ms Judy Chen (right) thanked Ms Susan Yuen (left), CEO of Hong Kong ANZ for their donation.

Prof. Wu Yuping from Sun Yat-sen University, Principal Investigator of the Project, said "Our analyses indicate that the genetic diversity of the Chinese white dolphin population in the Pearl River Estuary (including Hong Kong) is low – meaning that the population is weak in adapting to environmental changes – thus increasing the likelihood of contracting diseases from environmental pollution and threatening the long-term sustainability of the species. We aim to furnish scientific reference data to help assess infrastructure projects and develop long-term conservation strategies."
Cetacean Stranding Response Team – Handled 36 Cases and Collected 606 Samples in 2011
Working closely with Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department since 2006, OPCFHK handled 172 reported cetacean stranding cases, the majority of which involved either juvenile or aged dolphins. For some cases, foetal hair and folds were still present indicating that they were only a few days old. Most of the carcasses were already severely decomposed, so OPCFHK urges the public to call the 1823 hotline, so that the Response Team can reach the body promptly to collect fresh samples for more accurate analysis.

Report the stranding case to the "Cetacean Stranding Report Hotline" – the government call centre 1823 with date, time and location of discovery. Describe the condition of the dolphin – alive or a decomposed carcass, and its body features (e.g. dorsal fins / obvious rostrum) to enable better preparation by the Response Team.

Mr. Edmond Lam Yui-fong, Acting Assistant Director (Country and Marine Parks) of AFCD, said "We greatly relish our collaborative relationship with OPCFHK and hope to help achieve a breakthrough in the conservation of Chinese white dolphins by donating dolphin samples to the DNA bank."
Friends of the Foundation Launches with Celebrated Members from Diverse Fields
Artist Ekin Cheng and Kenny Lau, a local painting prodigy, joined OPCFHK's newly launched fan club Friends of the Foundation and urged the public to help conserve wildlife in Hong Kong and Asia. With these two high achievers in their respective fields joining Friends of the Foundation, the Foundation has officially begun its membership drive.

Through donation, members of Friends of the Foundation will be able to support OPCFHK's conservation efforts in Asia, through obtaining information about wildlife conservation across Asia, and taking part in various conservation and engagement programmes, activities and seminars.  Join Friends of the Foundation now and work together with OPCFHK for a sustainable future!

Joined as OPCFHK's first Regular Member, Ekin Cheng urged the public to help protect Chinese white dolphins and other wildlife.

Kenny Lau, Junior Ambassador of the Friends of the Foundation, expressed his love to the Chinese white dolphin through painting. OPCFHK adopted this art piece as the design for the Junior membership card.
Chinese White Dolphin Conservation Symposium: Review and Prospects
OPCFHK hosted a symposium on 14 January 2012 for local stakeholders of Chinese white dolphin conservation to meet with five OPCFHK principal investigators, who reviewed their research results and discussed the future directions of their work. The symposium attracted over 50 participants, including government officials, local conservation groups, environmental impact assessment companies as well as university students.

At the symposium, Dr. Leszek Karczmarski of The Swire Institute of Marine Science, School of Biological Science, The University of Hong Kong, presented his recent research with Dr. Huang Shiang-lin of Institute of Ecology and Evolution Biology, National Taiwan University and colleagues from Sun Yat-sen University in Zhuhai, which indicates that the Chinese white dolphin population in the Pearl River Estuary is declining at an alarming annual rate of 2.46%. The demographic analyses predicted a continuous decline, with as much as 74% of the current numbers likely lost within 60 years.

Mr. Timothy Ng, Deputy Director of OPCFHK, stated, "These alarming figures highlight the urgent need for immediate Chinese white dolphin conservation efforts. Therefore, we have developed a five-year conservation plan to consolidate regional efforts to help ensure the sustainability of Chinese white dolphins in Hong Kong and neighbouring waters through standardising scientific research techniques, capacity building and public awareness campaigns."

Ms Judy Chan, OPCFHK Chair (3rd from left) thanked the principal investigators for enduring the hardship in the field for wildlife conservation: (from left to right) Mr. Brian Smith, Wildlife Conservation Society, Prof. Wu Yuping, Sun Yat-sen University, Prof. Zhou Kaiya, Nanjing Normal University, Dr. Leszek Karczmarski, The University of Hong Kong and Dr. Louisa Ponnampalam, University of Malaya

Morning section

Mr. Brian Smith, Wildlife Conservation Society
Keynote Speech: Status of Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins in Asia: Conservation Challenges and Progress

Prof. Zhou Kaiya, Nanjing Normal University
A Review on Studies of Chinese White Dolphins, Sousa chinensis, in Chinese Waters

Prof. Wu Yuping, Sun Yat-sen University
Genetic Diversity of Chinese White Dolphin in Chinese Waters

Afternoon section

Dr. Leszek Karczmarski, The University of Hong Kong
Conservation Ecology of Chinese White Dolphins: The Hong Kong Perspective and Beyond

Dr. Louisa Ponnampalam, University of Malaya
Research and Conservation of Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins and Finless Porpoise in Langkawi, Malaysia - Combining Science and Community as Platforms of Discovery

Dr. Samuel Hung, Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society
Long-term Monitoring of Chinese White Dolphins in Hong Kong (1995-present): Implications for Conservation and Management

Ms Shadow Sin, OPCFHK
Regional Efforts and Marine Mammal Stranding Response Programme in Hong Kong Waters

Dr. Robert Brownell, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Can the Western Gray Whale Population Survive?

Mr. Timothy Ng, OPCFHK
Summary, discussion & Q&A

The symposium ended with a boat trip to visit our Chinese white dolphin friends!
Chinese White Dolphin Booths by Local Conservation Groups - Lots of Games, Lots of Fun
Ocean Park visitors spent their day learning about and supporting Chinese white dolphin conservation efforts. OPCFHK joined hands with AFCD, WWF Hong Kong and Eco Association to provide interesting and useful information about the conservation of the species. Interactive games provided lots of fun!

Blessings to our pink dolphins!

Introducing OPCFHK's cetacean conservation efforts

Join OPCFHK, Save the Dolphins!

Protect our marine environment, take the sustainable seafood pledge!

Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department - how much you know about our precious marine parks?

WWFHK – imprinting the love of Chinese white dolphins

Eco Association - testing your knowledge on our lovable dolphins