Hong Kong is known as the “Pearl of the Orient” and its past, present and future developments are intimately linked and centred on its role as a world harbour. Located at the southern coast of China, Hong Kong has a total sea area of 1651 km2, with over 200 offshore islands and is famous for its deep natural harbour with a range of diverse habitats. Despite having a small marine area with busy marine traffic, more than 5,711 marine species have been recorded in Hong Kong waters, including 84 hard coral species and iconic flagship species like the Chinese white dolphins and horseshoe crabs. Hong Kong is, however, a very densely populated cosmopolitan city with more than 7 million people living on a land mass of only 1104 km². Our coastal marine environments and marine biodiversity are facing many threats such as reclamation, habitat degradation, pollution, eutrophication, and biological invasion. Our government is working to combat these threats and the challenges of sustainable development.
Kenneth Leung is Professor of Aquatic Ecology and Toxicology at the Swire Institute of Marine Science and School of Biological Sciences, in the University of Hong Kong (HKU), Hong Kong where he is also serving as Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) at the Faculty of Science.
He obtained his PhD in marine ecotoxicology from University of Glasgow and received postdoctoral training in environmental risk assessment (ERA) of chemical pollutants at University of London. So far, he has published over 130 peer-reviewed articles which are principally related to the ecology, pollution, ecotoxicology and ERA in both marine and freshwater ecosystems. He is currently investigating the recovery of benthic marine ecosystems after the implementation of a territory-wide trawling ban in Hong Kong’s coastal waters.
During 2010–2012, he was the elected President of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Asia Pacific Geographic Unit. He is also an editor-in-chief of the Elsevier journal, Regional Studies in Marine Science and a subject editor for the SETAC journal, Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management. Owing to his professional achievements and community services, he was selected as one of the “Ten Outstanding Young Persons” for Hong Kong by Junior Chamber International in 2010.