Collaborate for the Ocean
SWIMS and OPCFHK
The Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong (OPCFHK) continues to work with SWIMS staff, graduate and undergraduate students for the conservation of marine ecosystems, including endangered animals. In 2018, our students participated in different OPCFHK funded field research projects led by leading international scientists to gain first-hand experience in the field.
Under OPCFHK’s university student sponsorship program, six students got an opportunity to work on various projects. Andrew Lam joined a project on “Community-based conservation management of the Banggai Cardinalfish” in Indonesia. Sammi Lo worked on Chinese sturgeon, specifically on competition stress from exotic sturgeon species on the wild population of Chinese Sturgeon in the Yangtze River Estuary. Sammi Sin and Christy Yu jointly worked on manta rays. Finally, both Alvin Wong and Angus Hau jointly worked on a project on orangutans, addressing human‐orangutan conflicts in agricultural landscapes in Northern Sumatra.
We are grateful to OPCFHK for their continuous support for our SWIMS staff and students with such excellent experiential learning opportunities and look forward to continuing our work with them in the future.
SWIMS and Universities worldwide
As always, SWIMS graduate students and staff visited several schools to give talks and seminars. Our annual exchange of SWIMS students and staff with Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology (Japan) and The University of Johannesburg (South Africa) have continued. Now, the field course in South Africa involves students and teachers not only from SWIMS and South Africa but also from the USA. Four Tokyo University students visited and closely interacted with SWIMS students and staff during March 2018. We were also able to accommodate several students, student helpers from various local and overseas universities, to conduct their internship work at SWIMS for several months. This strong student and staff exchange, engagement and outreach activities will help us to develop further in the newly expanded SWIMS.
SWIMS and IUCN
The Napoleon fish, Cheilinus undulatus, is threatened and listed on CITES App II. Yvonne was involved in a decade of underwater surveys at 6 locations in Indonesia, the major global exporter of the species, which revealed indications of recovery through distinct recruitment pulses in areas of low and medium fishing intensity, but none where fishing pressure remains high. In one location which was no longer fished, significant increases in fish numbers occurred along with increases in fish sizes. These indications of improvement in low and medium exploitation areas are a sign that fishing pressure should be reduced where exploitation for the species remains high and that some protection of the species and moderate fishing levels can reduce threats, allow for recovery and maintain fisheries.
SWIMS and Reef Check
Continuing with SWIMS' effort to promote marine conservation and outreach, we gathered 26 volunteers at our 18th participation of the Reef Check program run by AFCD. With the financial support from SWIMS and passion from our students, we conducted surveys for reef fishes, benthic composition and invertebrates. Reef Check provides not only a chance for us to contribute to coral conservation in Hong Kong, but is also a platform for SWIMer's reunion. We are looking forward to see you all and more newcomers in 2019.