Douglas Woodring, a nominee for this year's 2009 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year award, informed us of a policy issue that is up for debate in Hong Kong.
The issue is the government's proposal for a ban on trawling in Hong Kong waters.
"This is a HUGE win if it happens. They introduced it last year, but nothing has been done since. Please send the Honorable Donald Tsang a letter today in order to show your support for this. They think no one is watching, but we need to remind them that we are, and that we care. Please pass the letter on. Either use the comments below or create your own. It needs to be sent today to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks."
Honorable Mr. Tsang,
We are writing to give our broad support for the government's proposal last year to ban fishing trawling in all of Hong Kong's waters. This is the most significant environmental proposal yet put forth in Hong Kong since the Handover, but to date, nothing has yet been done about it. We fully support your efforts to elimate trawling in our waters as soon as possible (and this includes large consituencies of ocean recreational users).
Every day that trawling continues to happen, there is one less day of hope. The ocean is at a critical juncture in terms of its ability to sustain life here. There is very little economic reason for these trawlers to keep working, but there is a huge negative impact for them doing so. This includes complete destruction of the seabed and ocean environment, fuel wasteage and pollution, litter and marine debris, safety issues with recreational users, lost potential in tourism activities, and reduced property values due to degraded ocean area which does not live up to its potential.
The benefits from a complete ban to trawling would be significant, in fact, some groups have predicted economic gains to this city of $2bn per year. This is believeable. The ocean is very resiliant if given the chance to rejuvinate itself. Our ocean is Hong Kong's biggest asset, and in fact, if it were not here, Hong Kong would not be what it is today. Yet we have treated it as an afterthought for far too long. Your best legacy to the betterment of Hong Kong's environment would be to quickly ban trawling in all Hong Kong waters. The results be significant, and far reaching.
We look forward to supporting you in your proposal to carry through with this plan.