Marcus’s passion is caring for the sea and the creatures within it. His initiative was “SOS” Save Our Seas, which is a cornerstone campaign for marine protection.
The Chair of WWF for 8 years and actively involved in Marine Conservation, for Marcus the tipping point was when Chief Executive Donald Tsang introduced “No Take Zones” which the fisherman took no notice of. Areas were found that were being completely fished out as there is no mechanism to police the “No Take Zones”.
Marcus loves the sea. It is the last wilderness – mysterious and dramatic. He has a passion to save our oceans. He has witnessed in his time a dramatic drop in the abundance of marine life in Hong Kong waters. And while the focus is currently on Hong Kong he would like to extend regionally to the South China Sea.
WWF has grown hugely in the conservation of the seas and has established this as their flagship campaign in Hong Kong.
The project was launched in 2006. WWF raised a signature campaign with 58,000 signatures, meaning that the government are taking this project seriously. They gave presentations to encourage the adoption of policies to dozens of different audiences, chambers of commerce, universities, schools, business groups etc.
One of the issues is that Hong Kong is a very urban society – 40% live above the 14th floor. Many citizens don’t get real exposure to nature – or to experience wild nature… for even one afternoon!
One of the things to be optimistic about is that the level of awareness is changing quite rapidly. People are becoming more concerned and aware of the problems. But the social impact is not reaching deep enough. Young people spend too much time inside with computers and TVs, and in shopping malls. There needs to be a cultural shift to get people back out into nature.
In this world poachers become the gamekeepers, fishermen become the protectors of the sea.