Hong Kong Trip (Shark fin trade, plastic pollution and marine exploitation)

Hong Kong in February is somewhat cold and grey, much to my surprised, in contrast to my previous visits to Hong Kong which have been during the hot subtropical summers of Asia’s far East.


On arrival I was met by Alex Hofford a long-term resident of Hong Kong and a leading conservationist who has been instrumental in a campaign not only to outlaw the sale of African ivory, but also leading an effective campaign against the shark fin trade.

With eight hours difference between the UK and Hong Kong it has taken sometime to adapt, but with enthusiasm and a desire to document the visit to Hong Kong I have been actively engaged with filming and photographing as much as is possible.


Here in Hong Kong it is not only the subject of shark fins that has caught my attention but the vast array of various marine products that are on offer for sale. Colourful tropical fish and corals are grown in decorative tanks along with lobsters, crabs, moray eels, shrimps and a variety of shells originating from tropical locations such as the Philippines, Indonesia and as far afield as the Pacific.

Hong Kong as with other regions of the world is also inundated with the problem of plastic disposable rubbish. This plastic degrades and breaks down into micro plastics, eventually ending up as nano particles which enter into the food chain as fish and other marine life forms consume them.


I have been to plastic covered beaches which can only be believed when one is able to visit these locations to witness tons upon tons of waste originating from China, Japan and other Asian nations. This is a global problem that is going to increasingly have an impact upon all of our lives unless we begin to act now rather than turning a blind eye. It is also estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic waste in our oceans than fish, so the need for urgent action is evident more now than ever. 


Hong Kong is a must visit for those of us that are concerned for the well being of our planets oceans and here in the central district of Sheung Wan one can view on a daily basis the evidence of the senseless destruction. Thousands of sharks along with sea cucumbers and thousands of other marine products are on view for sale. From Hong Kong my journey will continue onto the warm tropical equatorial waters of Indonesia to learn more about the urgent need to conserve our oceans fragile biodiversity.