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LCQ20: Typhoon shelters and sheltered berthing facilities

     Following is a question by the Prof Hon Patrick Lau Sau-shing and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Ms Eva Cheng, in the Legislative Council today (May 16):

Question :

     The Victoria Harbour is a famous landmark of Hong Kong and good harbour management will enable it to serve its due functions and demonstrate its scenic beauty.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the total number of berths (including those inside typhoon shelters) throughout the territory which are open for use by vessels at present and the areas of such berths, with a breakdown by type of berths (including those for cruises, barges, and yachts, etc.);

(b) whether an estimate has been made in the planned development of the harbourfront for the next decade on the numbers of berths for different types of vessels required in various districts throughout the territory and on the areas of such berths; if so, of the relevant figures; and

(c) whether it has studied and planned to increase correspondingly the numbers of berth facilities for large, middle and small-sized yachts and other vessels to tie in with the construction of the new cruise terminal in Kai Tak so as to meet the demands from marine traffic and promoting tourism development; if it has not, of the reasons for that?



(a) The Administration is to ensure that there is sufficient suitable berthing/mooring space within the Hong Kong waters for local vessels and small visiting vessels to take refuge during typhoon or inclement weather for the safety of the vessels and the crew members onboard.  According to the assessment as at end 2011, the total area of the 14 purpose-built typhoon shelters and the 13 sheltered anchorages in different areas is about 590 hectares. These berthing facilities, which are suitable for local vessels to take refuge during typhoon, are not demarcated by vessel types and can be used (including under normal circumstances) by any type of vessels.  The Marine Department (MD) also allows private moorings to be laid in different waters at cost to the owners.  As at end 2011, there are about 1 860 private moorings in the Hong Kong waters, of which about 1 580 numbers are for use by pleasure vessels.  In addition, 24 anchorages and 17 mooring buoys are provided in different waters for the berthing use of ocean-going vessels.  

(b) In recent years, the Administration has strived to promote the enhancement of the harbourfront and to improve its accessibility.  Subject to the actual circumstances of the harbourfront sites and through effective allocation of resources, the Government gradually constructs various harbourfront promenades on both sides of Victoria Harbour for public enjoyment.  At present, the large-scale development on both sides of Victoria Harbour includes the West Kowloon Cultural District, the Kai Tak Development and the New Central Harbourfront.  MD assesses periodically the demand and supply of the typhoon shelter space on an overall territory-wide basis.  MD does not collect statistics on the demand for berthing space at district level.  According to the estimation by MD as at end 2011, the overall demand for typhoon shelter and sheltered anchorage in Hong Kong will amount to about 570 hectares in 2025.

(c) There will be two berths at the new cruise terminal at Kai Tak dedicated to be used by cruise vessels.  For other types of vessels, as mentioned in (a) above, they can use the typhoon shelters in Hong Kong, make an application to MD for private mooring, or take berth at anchorages or mooring buoys.  In addition, MD will continue to monitor the marine traffic and keep in view from time to time whether there are sufficient typhoon shelters and sheltered berthing facilities in Hong Kong for the safety of vessels and crew members on board under inclement weather.

Ends/Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Issued at HKT 11:31


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