Monday, September 15, 2014   




Safe waters haven only for rich, claims group

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Only the super rich are able to enjoy our magnificent shoreline and beautiful waters.

That's according to an alliance of those who enjoy boating and are being sunk by the current moorings policy.

It says while there are more than 12,000 vessels licensed for use in tourism, line fishing and water sports, only 3,200 safe moorings in private marinas and private areas are available.

The group has petitioned the Secretary for Transport and Housing to address the serious shortage of safe moorings, threatening to stage another rally next month if they receive no reply.

In addition to moorings, the group - comprising 60 representatives of boating bodies - also wants an extension of the deadline for termination of non-compliant moorings in Aberdeen until safer alternative moorings are found.

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As at the end of last year, there were 7,920 pleasure vessels and 4,103 transportation, fishing and outdoor open sampans, or more than 12,000 vessels licensed by the Marine Department for recreation use.

However, there are only 2,280 moorings in private marinas and 950 private moorings.

"Taking into account an estimated 800 dry berths offered by marinas and private operators, there is a shortfall of close to 8,000 safe berths. This has resulted in the subletting of moorings at high prices, and makes it impossible for all except the super rich to enjoy Hong Kong's magnificent shorelines and beautiful waters," the group said.

"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 - a situation aggravated in 2009 when vessels were moved to Aberdeen to make way for construction works in Causeway Bay. STAFF REPORTER


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