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Ocean Park To Receive Five New Chinese Sturgeons To Be Exhibited In Dedicated Aquarium

2008-07-14

Ocean Park To Receive Five New Chinese Sturgeons To Be

 Exhibited In Dedicated Aquarium

(14 July 2008‧Hong Kong) Ocean Park and the country’s National Aquatic Wildlife Conservation Association signed an agreement on 9 July 2008 for the donation of five additional Chinese sturgeons to Ocean Park. Additionally, the National Aquatic Wildlife Conservation Association has arranged a site visit to Ocean Park yesterday for experts from the Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Fisheries Sciences and Beijing Aquarium, respectively, to provide technical advice. Experts, including those from the National Aquatic Wildlife Conservation Association, supported Ocean Park’s proposal to launch a dedicated Chinese sturgeon aquarium to promote the Chinese sturgeon conservation story. During the experts’ visit, both parties reaffirmed their commitment to work with Ocean Park on aquatic wildlife conservation and scientific research in addition to presenting the national treasure in a manner that allows it to be an ambassador of education and conservation.

Ocean Park plans to convert the existing Shark Aquarium into the Chinese Sturgeon Aquarium, to showcase these “living fossils” in its own dedicated facility. This will facilitate further conservation and promotion efforts for the Chinese sturgeons and aquatic wildlife, and with the consent from China’s Ministry of Agriculture, the National Aquatic Wildlife Conservation Association will deliver another five Chinese sturgeons to Ocean Park. The Chinese Sturgeon Aquarium is expected to open on 8 August, 2008. Apart from Chinese sturgeons, other marine species will be introduced to the new Chinese Sturgeon Aquarium at a later stage.

Dr. Allan Zeman, Chairman of Ocean Park said, ‘We are very grateful for the support and trust we’ve received from the country’s National Aquatic Wildlife Conservation Association. Their generosity of presenting more of the precious Chinese sturgeons will enable us to share with people in Hong Kong and around the world their unique story of conservation. Special thanks to Professor Wei Qi Wei of the Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Fisheries Sciences, who is again giving us his full support for the Chinese Sturgeon Aquarium project. The five new fish we are getting are all freshwater Chinese sturgeons. These will be the first to be introduced into the Chinese Sturgeon Aquarium. The existing four Chinese Sturgeons that are already here will be added into the aquarium once the five new ones have completed the salination process in the aquarium. By then, we will have a total of nine Chinese sturgeons as the Park’s aquatic conservation ambassadors. Together, these animals will, hopefully, be an inspiration to our local and overseas guests, arousing their interest in and support for our work to preserve and conserve the Chinese sturgeons and aquatic wildlife. The collection will also facilitate and promote the exchange of scientific research initiatives between Hong Kong and the Mainland. Furthermore, the scientific research of the reproduction of Chinese sturgeons will be greatly enhanced with a total of nine Chinese sturgeons.”

Mr. Li Yan Liang, Chairman of National Aquatic Wildlife Conservation Association, said, ‘We have always believed in, and held in high regard, Ocean Park’s exemplary work in animal care and in promoting conservation. We are confident the Park will contribute greatly to, and facilitate, the conservation of Chinese aquatic wildlife. We fully support the Park’s plan to establish a dedicated facility to showcase the Chinese sturgeons. My Association hopes that, with the delivery of five extra Chinese sturgeons, Ocean Park will attract guests to visit the Chinese Sturgeon Aquarium, and to learn about their habitat and habits, and deepen their understanding of the meaning of our conservation efforts.’

Professor Wei Qi Wei of the Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Fisheries Sciences said, ‘We are very glad that Hong Kong can now have its own dedicated Chinese sturgeon facility. We wholeheartedly support display of the Chinese sturgeons this way as this will be the most effective means to arouse interest and reach out to the public about our conservation messages. Additionally, this dedicated facility will offer boundless opportunities for further studies on the Chinese sturgeons. We will give all the support necessary to ensure that the Chinese Sturgeon Aquarium will open on schedule on 8 August, 2008, and begin an exciting new chapter on aquatic wildlife conservation and education efforts by the Mainland and Hong Kong.”

Each of the five Chinese sturgeons is at a sizable two metres in length, and belongs to the first generation of freshwater Chinese sturgeons bred by the Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Fisheries Sciences. These will be drawn from the Xiamen Songhao Chinese Sturgeon Breeding Centre, and will be delivered to Ocean Park via land transport.

To facilitate the conversion to the Chinese Sturgeon Aquarium, 15 fish from the original Shark Aquarium will be housed at Atoll Reef. Here, Ocean Park will continue to promote shark conservation. The rest of the 11 fish will be housed at special back-of-house pools. These animals will eventually be displayed at the Grand Aquarium, which is a new attraction in Ocean Park’s Master Redevelopment Project.

 –End–

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