The discovery of a rare finless porpoise, found dead in the waters off Shek O, has prompted a renewed call for Hongkongers to reduce and properly dispose of waste.

The adult female finless porpoise was discovered on Wednesday at Tai Long Pai, bringing the total number of strandings this year up to 35. Measuring 162 centimetres in length, the porpoise was already severely decomposed. Dissection revealed a fishing rod in its stomach, but the cause of death is still unknown.

finless porpoise

A finless porpoise. Photo: Wikicommons.

Marine Police received a call at 4pm indicating that the corpse of a finless porpoise had been spotted floating near Shek O, Oriental Daily reported.

The porpoise was collected and brought to Marine Police Regional Headquarters at Sai Wan Ho, where it was then handed over to the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation’s Cetacean Stranding Response Team.

Ocean Park Conservation Foundation’s assistant manager of scientific projects Shadow Sin Ying-tung urged the public to choose environmentally-friendly products, manage trash, reduce usage of plastic bags and dispose of fishing tools properly.

dead stranding team
The OPCF team at work in July. Photo: Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong (OPCFHK) via Facebook.

This April, thousands of dead fish were found near Discovery Bay in the wake of three finless porpoises’ deaths.

Finless porpoises are listed as “vulnerable” under the International Union for Conservation of Nature red list, meaning that they face a high risk of extinction in the wild in the medium term.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.