Press release: Expansion of Aberdeen Harbour
31 March 2014
Today, Southern District Council will discuss ‘The Expansion of Aberdeen Harbour’
As 201, there are over 19,000 vessels in Hong Kong, including 8,491 pleasure vessels. However, total number of sheltered berthing and moorings is only less than 5,000. This shortage in safe berthing and mooring is growing day by day and is limiting the economic development of marine-related industries, including ship-repairing/building, sales of vessels, spare parts and component manufacturing, insurance, etc.
Another major implication is that the cost of mooring has become unaffordable for the common person in Hong Kong. Only the ultra rich can have access to marinas and the cost of moorings sublet in the private market have risen to over HK$20,000/month. This costs restricts private boat ownership and is resulting in a lack of labour skilled in marine activities. This is consistent with the observations by Marine Department which has found it difficult to hire management with marine experience.
There are 344 private moorings and 99 club moorings in Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter for pleasure vessels. However, in the latest statistics provided by MD, the total number of vessels seen in the shelter on 21 September 2013 during Typhoon Usagi was 550, meaning an additional 107 pleasure vessels sought refuge at the shelter without safe and proper moorings.
A petition was held on 30 April 2013 with the industries united in one simple message – ‘Safe Moorings NOW!’. See press release at www.moorings.hk .
Paul Zimmerman, Southern District Councillor and CEO of Designing Hong Kong, has urged the government to commission a feasibility study to ascertain the feasibility, costs and benefits of expanding the Aberdeen Typhoon Shelters. (see picture above)
‘It is time for the government to look seriously into the failure to provide adequate safe moorings, and the benefits to the economic benefits of growing marine related industries by expanding Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter.’ says Paul. He adds ‘It is simple to create sheltered waters in Hong Kong for boats, all we need to do is to move the breakwaters and enlarge the Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter by 50% to accommodate 1,000 small vessels.’