In response to media enquiries about the discovery of an alligator gar at the artificial lake of Tak Wah Park, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) gave the following response today (September 4):
There are 20 artificial lakes located at various parks managed by the LCSD for visitors' admiration. These lakes, including the filtration system, are not designed for keeping fish and tortoises. The LCSD will not raise fish in these lakes and those found in the lakes were abandoned by park visitors.
Staff will clean the lakes regularly. Dangerous fishes will be removed when they are found. Staff will contact animal welfare groups and charity organisations to see if they will adopt the non-dangerous fishes and tortoises found in the lake.
After receiving information on the discovery of an alligator gar in the artificial lake of Tak Wah Park, the LCSD removed the fish from the lake this morning and sent it to experts for examination. The experts confirmed that the fish was an alligator gar. It has low value of conservation and should not be released as it would affect the ecological balance. The fish caught this morning died later.
Staff also inspected the artificial lakes at Chai Wan Park, Hong Kong Park, Tsing Yi Park and Lai Chi Kok Park today and will remove any alligator gar if found.
Staff will continue to inspect the artificial lakes at parks, and will remove any alligator gar or dangerous fish when found.
The department reiterated that under the Pleasure Grounds Regulation, it is an offence to release fish or feed them in the artificial lakes of LCSD venues. Notices have been put up to remind park visitors. Law enforcement action will be taken against people who violate the regulation. The maximum penalty will be a $2000 fine and 14 days of imprisonment upon conviction.
The LCSD called on the public to think thoroughly before keeping pets and not to abandon animal or fish.
Ends/Friday, September 4, 2009