First the fish go, then the reefs. That was the message from over 900 Hong Kong students earlier today when they took over Repulse Bay Beach to form a giant fish. The children were joined by teachers and volunteers as part of Kids Ocean Day, to stop the overfishing of reef fish.
“Today the children have spoken out, using art as a way of expressing their love for the ocean by creating the shape of a giant reef fish,” said Doug Woodring, event organiser and founder of Ocean Recovery Alliance. “Hong Kong plays a critical role in the demand and consumption for reef fish in the region, and most of the community does not realize or understand where this type of fish comes from.”
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PHOTO: Alex Hofford (Twitter - @alexhofford)[/caption]
Woodring explained that unlike fish from the open water, the reef fish are critical to keeping a balanced ecosystem. “ Removing one or two species from the reef by overfishing can be detrimental to the whole thing. And reefs, the ‘forests’ of the ocean, are responsible for over 25% of all life in the sea.”
The children also spelled out the words “Where’s My Reef,” and in Chinese characters “節制” which means “refrain.” The image was based on an original drawing by Giselle Li, a student from Victoria Shanghai Academy, and brought to life today by international aerial artist John Quigley.
This marks the third year that Kids Ocean Day took place in the Southern District, the only one of its type in Asia. Through a partnership with Ocean Recovery Alliance, The Malibu Foundation, and Spectral Q, the past week has also inlcuded ocean talks at local school assemblies to raise awareness and create behavioral change to save our oceans.
“We taught students that beneath the surface of the ocean, animals are being impacted by our actions on land – sometimes eating plastic, getting tangled in nets, and being impacted by pollution. Today, we took them to the beach for more education and beach appreciation to bring engagement around preservation,” said Malibu Foundation and Kids Ocean Day founder and executive director Michael Klubock.
From the team at Localiiz we want to thank all who took part in this event, especially the students who have shown tremendous creativity and a willingness to step up and protect some of Hong Kong’s greatest treasures – our waters and the creatures that live in them.
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