“Dark smoke emitted by vessels comprises suspended particulates which are harmful to health” (para 3.35)
Implementation of air-quality improvement measures
Audit Commission, Hong Kong, 26 October 2012.
The following photographs form a chronological timeline and were taken as New World Ferry Services vessels were arriving and departing at Outlying Islands Ferry Terminal 5, Central, Hong Kong on 12 December 2012:
0635am - Xin Guo arrives and berths
Xin Guo departs
0733am - Secondary school children wait for their bus
0735am - Xin Fei arrives and berths
0738am - Passengers from Xin Fei disembark and make their way to work
Xin Fei departs
0749am - Secondary school students board their school buses
0753am - Primary school children play while waiting to go to school
0754am - Primary school children disembark from the Lamma Ferry on their way to school
0804am - Kindergarten child waits to go to school (with baby sibling)
0808 am - Xin Chao arrives and berths
The following are selected quotes from the Audit Commissions report (Implementation of air-quality improvement measures. Audit Commission, Hong Kong, 26 October 2012):
“… air pollution poses health risks to humans, causing respiratory and heart diseases and lung cancer. These adverse health effects will increase medical costs, lower worforce’s productivity and undermine people’s quality of life …. good air-quality management is essential for safeguarding and promoting people’s well being” (para 1.2).
“the shipping industry raised objection to the proposal” (para 3.32).
“… the Government would, subject to resource availability, implement 22 air-quality improvement measures” (Executive Summary - para 3).
“… since there was other pressing legislative work to proceed with, the THB needed more time to consider details of introducing the proposed legislative amendments” (para 3.32).
In other words, vessel pollution is recognized as being a major health risk, but unfortunately, nothing has happened because the shipping industry don’t want to be regulated and it has not been a government priority.
Remember this as you look at the photographs of these school children. They suffer this every day they go to school. Thank you New World Ferry and the numerous other vessel operators who pollute our harbour with impunity every day.
Petition to the Chief Executive
If you want to do something about this situation, please sign the petition below, asking the Chief Executive to announce stringent measures to address vessel pollution like this in his 2013 Policy Address: