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LCSD's response to media enquiries

In response to media enquiries, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) said the following today (September 13):

The LCSD recently received a weekly inspection report submitted by its shark prevention net maintenance contractor that during a routine inspection at Shek O Beach at the end of August, the carcasses of two small sharks measuring 80 to 90 cm in length were discovered outside the shark prevention net. There was no damage to the net concerned.

In addition to regular inspection and maintenance carried out by the maintenance contractor, the Department has also employed an independent contractor to regularly counter check the condition of all shark prevention nets.

The two small dead sharks were believed to be the Silky Shark (Carcharhinus falciformis) according to an expert of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. Such sharks are usually born inshore and should move offshore when they grow larger.

Although the small sharks were already dead when found, the LCSD had attached great importance to this and immediately took a number of precautionary measures which included: alerting all beach staff to step up surveillance, requesting the Government Flying Service to conduct searches, and informing the Marine Police to pay attention during vessel patrols. Up till now there has been no sighting or report of any suspected sharks in Hong Kong waters.

The shark prevention nets have been effective since their installation at public beaches. The department will continue to make regular broadcasts of water sports safety message at gazetted beaches to remind swimmers to stay within the boom line areas.

Ends/Wednesday, September 13, 2006
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