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OCEAN PARK CONFIRMS MAINLAND REPORT ON THE RETURN OF TWO CHINESE STURGEONS TO XIAMEN FOR TREATMENT

2009-01-07

(Hong Kong - 7 January 2009) Ocean Park confirmed that the Park is finalising the logistical arrangements for the delivery of two Chinese sturgeons to the Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Fisheries Sciences. Both the Mainland experts and Ocean Park believe the decision is in the best interest of the Chinese sturgeons.

The fish that will be sent back to Xiamen for further treatment are known as no. 6, and no. 8.

Ocean Park Chief Executive, Tom Mehrmann, said that the Park is closely monitoring the conditions of the remaining Chinese sturgeons, and working closely with the Mainland experts still present at the Park to provide the best care for the Chinese sturgeons.

Director Li Nian-liang, Director of the National Aquatic Wildlife Conservation Association, said, “We learned from the recent cases that each fish may have different reactions to the salination process. The two fish will be going back to Xiamen where there are available facilities to enable the two fish to be kept separately so that adjustments to their environmental conditions can be made to meet the specific needs of the two fish. We understand that Ocean Park has limited facilities for this process, which may include further reductions in salinity.”

The conservation project on the Chinese sturgeons undertaken by Ocean Park with the Mainland partners, which included the National Aquatic Wildlife Conservation Association, the Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Fisheries Science, and the Beijing Aquarium, has inspired new learning. The case studies indicated each Chinese sturgeon can react differently to the process of salination, and some factors that lead to different reactions include the age of the fish and its physiological conditions. Professor Wei Qi-wei, Director of the Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Fisheries Science, said, “This finding deepened our understanding on the Chinese sturgeons. We will collaborate with Ocean Park to facilitate further conservation research and exchanges.”

Mr. Mehrmann said, “Our first priority now is to address the well being of the fish. But we are also working closely with our Mainland partners on the way forward in this conservation research project involving the Chinese sturgeons. In these six months, our groundbreaking research on how Chinese sturgeons make the transition from fresh water, to sea water, then back to fresh water again for spawning, has made learning headways. Our forward looking conservation action plan will incorporate this new knowledge. We will share these once the plans are finalised.”

Chinese sturgeons no. 6 and no. 8 are both nine years old. No. 6 measures 2.3 m in length and no. 8 is 1.5m long. Both arrived at Ocean Park in July 2008 from the Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Fisheries Science.

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About Ocean Park
Ocean Park is Hong Kong’s unique homegrown theme park with a heritage of delivering family fun and fond memories. Since its opening in January 1977 as a non-profit organization, Ocean Park has developed itself to be a world-class attraction connecting people with nature, and recognized for its animal husbandry, research and relationship with the community. Over 90 million people have visited Hong Kong's premier park since its inception and Ocean Park has remained committed to offer adults and children experiences that blend entertainment with education and conservation. Part of the proceeds from the Ocean Park admission tickets and some retail items will go to Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong to support its wildlife conservation projects.