Until the 1950s, Cape d'Aguilar was devoid of development but was well-recognized locally for it's interesting geology.

With thanks to Harvard-Yenching Library, Harvard University
Photo copyright: The President and Fellows of Harvard College


At this time, the Civil Engineering Department at HKU adopted the site to investigate the structural effects of typhoons on buildings.


The foundations for the Swire Marine Laboratory began in October of this year.


The Swire Marine Laboratory opens.


Together with the Laboratory Block, the first Residence Block was also opened.


The facility is expanded and relaunched as the Swire Institute of Marine Science. Here, Sir John Swire and HKU Vice-Chancellor Wang Gungwu are cutting the ribbon during the opening.


The Cape d'Aguilar Marine Reserve was established as the only no-take MPA in Hong Kong.

1990s - 2000s

In 1994 it was expanded and re-named as The Swire Institute of Marine Science and, in 2004, it underwent a renovation, again funded by the Swire Group.


In October 2007, it was established as a sub-division of studies and learning under the Faculty of Science, The University of Hong Kong. In 2017-18 SWIMS is undergoing a major expansion and renovation.

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