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SDG14 Life Below Water

Under the Sea


HKU has been collaborating with different institutions around the globe to protect marine life. In 2017, Swire Institute of Marine Science (SWIMS), in collaboration with Marine Global Earth Observatory (MarineGEO), retrieved their first batch of ARMS (Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures) to study the coastal marine ecosystems in Hong Kong. Our researcher is contributing to the Global Ocean Oxygen Network, an international team which strives to tackle ocean oxygen deprivation.

Teaching & Research

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HKU has developed a new empirical method to derive site-specific water quality criteria of metal contaminants with consideration of variation in water temperature and salinity levels in the ocean. This method will help to predict metal toxicity levels in the ocean and ultimately help protect different marine ecosystems in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans. Also, a new type of “ecological brick” has been developed that will provide habitats for marine life on artificial seawalls. The bricks have been installed by Hong Kong’s Civil Engineering and Development Department. Tests of the bricks have shown that species diversity quickly approaches that of natural rocky shores in Hong Kong. This project will help to significantly restore Hong Kong’s coastal waters and bring life back to the shores.




The Ditch Disposable campaign continues to expand and motivate students and staff to reduce the use of disposable plastic items on campus in order to reduce plastic waste and its contribution to marine pollution. HKU successfully introduced the Policy on disposable plastic straws, which removed disposable plastic straws at centrally managed catering outlets from September 2018. Since the implementation of this policy and the earlier Policy on disposable plastic bottles, the University saves an estimated 1 million disposable plastic bottles and straws respectively each year. The University is now expanding its efforts with the upcoming Disposable plastic-free campus policy, which will eliminate a further 10 disposable plastic items on campus in September 2020. Through passing this ambitious policy, the university is making a strong commitment to reducing plastic marine pollution. 

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