A year-long legal battle to preserve Lung Mei Beach (Plover Cove, NE New Territories) has ended in defeat, meaning a controversial plan to turn the current beach into an artificial beach for recreational swimming will go ahead..
“Save Lung Mei Alliance” activists claimed that the government failed to take ecologically valuable and rare seahorse Hippocampus kuda into account in its assessment. They demanded that the government conduct another environmental impact assessment.
But the government argued that it had already assessed the impact of the project on marine life. In this study, the High Court judge said, the according to the first environmental impact assessment the number of Hippocampus kuda seahorses found at Lung Mei was not significant and that their presence did not mean that Lung Mei was the only habitat of the rare seahorses.In other words, the rare seahorse in only present in low numbers and just because this rare seahorse is found here does not mean it could not exist somewhere else we don’t know about, so we will go ahead with bulldozing the habitat and potentially wiping out the seahorses there – you never know we might find them somewhere else, too.
Two seahorses, one roundbelly cowfish and an eight-fingered dragonet were found after the release of the EPD permit, in its “professional” opinion the AFCD said that construction work will not pose a danger to the creatures, since the damage is not expected to be worse than expected by the EPD , the chief executive and the Executive Council will not revoke the permit. Note the contradiction in saying “the project does not pose a danger to the creatures” and “the damage will not be worse than expected”. How can damage of the habitat not pose a danger to the creatures living there? Hong Kong Government logic, it seems.
“At this stage we will study the judgment with our lawyers first,” Ho Loy of the Lung Mei Alliance said. She hopes the government will respect the group’s right of appeal and not immediately start construction work.