Andy Cornish's Blog

Dr Andy Cornish was raised in Hong Kong, and gained a strong interest in wildlife through spending time in Pokfulam Country Park. He studied Zoology at Nottingham University in England, travelled extensively through Central America where he learnt to scuba dive, and later did his PhD on reef fishes at the University of Hong Kong. Since then, he worked for a year doing coral reef management for the government of American Samoa, and taught in the Dept. of Ecology and Biodiversity at the University of Hong Kong. He worked at WWF from 2005 to late 2012 as Conservation Director, and was responsible for four programmes: Climate, Footprint, Local Biodiversity and Regional Wetlands (including management of the Mai Po Nature Reserve). He remains involved in environmental issues on an independent basis.
It's not from our city on this beach
September 16, 2012

It seems I can’t escape marine litter these days. Yesterday I decided to go bushwhacking to the rugged headlands of the Hong Kong Geopark off the main High Island dam. Getting off the dam itself and onto the natural shoreline required a bit of ingenuity, but almost as soon as I’d made it, found yet another pebble beach covered in trash. Whatever processes go into forming these beaches also seem to guarantee they are magnets for floating trash, and this was covered by the usual suspects.
Mid-week I saw an excellent Green Drinks talk by Captain Charles Moore, of Algalita Marine Research Foundation ( who was in Hong Kong as part of the Plastic Pollution Conversation Tour. According to this marine litter veteran, polystyrene is one of the most common litter types along coastlines (but interestingly not in the high seas as the plastic itself is heavier than...

The unprecedented response to the plastic pellet spill could actually be good for the environment in the long term
August 30, 2012

Unless you’ve been on holiday or pay no attention to Hong Kong news, the recent huge plastic pellet spill won’t have escaped your attention. It isn’t worth recounting the sequence of events following the loss of six containers in Typhoon Vincente, because others have already done it from the start, and grippingly for the armchair enthusiast.
What I can add is some of my own observations, after another day out today leading a WWF team and volunteers to Beaufort and Po Toi Islands to scoop, scrape and sieve pellets and a myriad of other plastic junk from some of our most untamable shorelines.
Firstly, the knee-jerk response...

All about my blog
August 18, 2012

I’ve found the perfect place to start my first blog, focused on Hong Kong and the environment. From the balcony of a friend’s flat overlooking Hebe Haven and the marina, I can see up the wooded slopes to the cloud enshrined peak of Ma On Shan, and across to the flotilla of gleaming white pleasure boats, some of which are pulling up anchor and heading out to explore the many beaches and islands of Sai Kung. The spectacle encompasses everything just about every side I’ll be covering about this corner of South China, from its sleek modern and sometimes excessive city side to its rich sub-tropical natural heritage. Up in those green hills there are deer, porcupine, pangolins and Burmese pythons double my length, how many world cities can boast the same?
In this blog I’ll try to cover a few issues. Through my day job at WWF I’ll share my thoughts on topical nature conservation issues, hot international news and try to give a feeling of...

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