Environment and Health:The Unbearable Pollution

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The Unbearable Pollution
Hong Kong, surrounded by water on three sides, is diversified in the types of marine creatures, possessing around 6 000 marine species. Corals, as one of the species, is also an ecosystem itself, providing different species with food and habitats. Meanwhile, fisheries products are an important source of protein for humans. Therefore, the survival of corals is crucial enough to affect our food chain.
Currently, there are about 900 types of corals around the world, of which around one-tenth were discovered in Hong Kong, having 84 types in total. Facing the problem of global climate change, the increase in sea surface temperature and seawater acidity, as well as the problem of marine pollution, the lives of corals are now under threat, and the coral community in Tolo Harbour, Tai Po is one of the examples. The coverage of corals in Tolo Harbour dropped sharply from 70% in the 1980s to nearly zero in 1996, which was kind of a marine ecological disaster in Hong Kong.
About a decade ago, the team from the coral planting base of Simon F.S. Li Marine Science Laboratory of the Chinese University of Hong Kong started the study on the restoration of corals in Tolo Harbour, hoping to rebuild the underwater coral ecology.
Apart from tangible rubbish, the impacts of sun creams on corals have also been a key issue for scientific research in the recent decade. Scientists found that the majority of sunscreens contain chemicals, such as Benzophenone-3, which will damage the reproduction and growth cycles of corals, causing coral bleaching in the end.

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