sail-world.com -- PROTEST! Marine Industry petitions HK Secretary for Transport
PROTEST! Marine Industry petitions HK Secretary for Transport
Wed, 1 May 2013
Over 60 people from an alliance of interests in pleasure boating, including the Southern District Ship Builders Association, Designing Hong Kong, Hong Kong Marine Industry Association, owners and crew of vessels, and management and staff of marine operators, petitioned the Secretary for Transport and Housing to address the serious shortage of safe moorings in Hong Kong.
The marine industry called on the Government to address the shortfall of safe moorings for the increasing number of boats used for tourism, pleasure, recreation and sports. They also urged for an extension of the deadline for termination of non-compliant moorings in Aberdeen until safe alternative mooring areas have been made available.
At the end of 2012, 7,920 pleasure vessels and 4,103 transportation, fishing and outdoor open sampans – or over 12,023 vessels used for tourism, leisure, recreation, line fishing and water sports had been licensed by the Marine Department. However, only 2,280 moorings in private marinas and 950 private moorings, or 3,230 safe moorings have been made available in Hong Kong.
Taking account of an estimated 800 dry berths (storage facilities on land) offered by marinas and private operators, there is a shortfall of close to 8,000 safe berths. This has resulted in subletting of moorings at high prices, and makes it impossible for people – except for the super rich - to enjoy Hong Kong’s magnificent shore lines and beautiful waters.
The shortfall of sheltered moorings hurts the image of Hong Kong and limits job opportunities in crewing for boats, ship repairs and marine related industries at a time when the fishing industry is seeking alternative jobs to compensate for the trawling ban.
The systemic shortfall has also resulted in oversized vessels moored on undersized moorings. This was aggravated in 2009 when vessels were moved to Aberdeen to make way for construction works in Causeway Bay. Recent enforcement action by the Marine Department against non-compliant moorings in Aberdeen would force boats from their safe moorings at the start of the typhoon season.