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Marine Fauna Database


Hong Kong, comprised of a single peninsula and over 200 offshore islands, is situated in the southeastern coast of Mainland China.Though the territorial waters of Hong Kong (1650 km) is only 0.05% that of the South China Sea (3.4 million km), the marine fish diversity of the former is about 30% that of the latter. This relatively high fish diversity is the result of Hong Kong's unique hydrology and diverse habitat. Hong Kong waters is a mixture of 3 coastal currents (the Chinese Coastal Current, the South China Sea Drift and Kuroshio Current ), Pearl River runoff and upwelling. In addition, there are diversified marine habitats including muddy and sandy substratum, rocky shores, coral reefs and the recently deployed artificial reefs.

Throughout one and a half centuries of Hong Kong ichthyological history,a total of 997 marine fish species of 135 families and 27orders were recorded. This is about 30% of the total fish species (3365 species) that can be found in the South China Sea. Within the waters of Taiwan and the Philippines, northeastern and southeastern of Hong Kong, over 2000 marine fish species were documented. It is expected that more and more fish species will be recorded in Hong Kong waters in the coming future.

The 10 most abundant fish families are Gobiidae (74 species), Labridae (41 species), Serranidae (39 species), Carangidae (39 species), Lutjanidae (35 species), Scorpaenidae (33 species), Pomacentridae (30 species), Apogonidae (27 species), Sciaenidae (24 species) and Chaetodontidae (23 species). Some records of marine fishes do not come with a photo. Contribution by you will be highly appreciated. Please send the fish photo (in Jpeg Format) to us, with you name and specimen size. Thanks!

Map of Hong Kong Waters:

Map of Hong Kong Waters

Map is adapted from:
The Lands Department of the Government of Hong Kong SAR
The Survey and Mapping Office
AR/18/IRS 2001 Edition

The map reproduced with permission of The Director of Lands.
Government of Hong Kong SAR. License No. G03/2002.

The Hong Kong waters, including territorial waters (2237'N, 11352'E - 22 8.5'N, 114 30'E) and adjacent waters.