Visiting Cape d'Aguilar
Cape d'Aguilar is located at the southern tip of Hong Kong Island on the Cape d'Aguilar Peninsula close to Shek O. It was designated as Hong Kong's first Marine Reserve by the Hong Kong Government in 1996 and this is managed by the Agricultural, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) with on-site assistance from SWIMS. The total sea area of the marine reserve is ~ 20 hectares. The marine reserve is the only no-take marine protected area in Hong Kong and is intended to allow scientific study of inter- and sub-tidal habitats subject to minimal disturbance.
As such, commercial fishing and any recreational activities are strictly prohibited within the reserve while a permit from AFCD is required for any research activity conducted, including snorkeling, diving and collection of organisms below the high water tide mark.
Adjacent to Cape d'Aguilar is Tai Tam which is a sheltered bay with mangroves, sandy and muddy shores. To the north of Cape d'Aguilar are the exposed shores of Shek O and Big Wave Bay. These habitats are easily accessible by car and/or by the boat (e.g. the Boston Whaler from SWIMS). Research to be conducted outside the Cape d'Aguilar marine reserve generally does not require a permit.
The coastline of Cape d'Aguilar includes a variety of intertidal and shallow subtidal habitats including exposed and semi-exposed rocky shores, large rock pools and subtidal rocky reef with a high diversity of hard corals and coral fishes.