Finless Porpoise Spotting?

Just returned to HK after a 7 year break and I made a promise to myself to get out this time and see the 'less-loved' other cetacean of Hong Kong's waters, the finless porpoise. Does anyone know of any good locations to attempt this?

Land observation points will be a start (if there are any), but I'm certain boats will become involved eventually.

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Martin Williams's picture

I believe some of best areas are in vicinity of Po Toi; so can try from here, maybe see from ferry - though I'm yet to see one from it (sometimes take it, and watch for seabirds). One lucky birder saw Hong Kong's first humpback whale from ferry: an individual that spent a while in Hong Kong during spring 2009, not long after reports of US spy type ship - using loud underwater sounds I believe - was reported to have been operating near Hainan.

I have seen from boat, also from Cheung Chau (again, watching for seabirds, so scanning sea with binoculars): as someone had told me, not much to be seen: bit like a tyre bobbing up in waves, then vanishing for a while before maybe resurfacing.

Thanks for that quick reply, I'll give those spots a try at some point, it's good to get a rough location of where to start.

Luckily I'm not expecting much, I used to do a bit of volunteer research work back in the UK and on one of the routes we covered, harbour porpoise was pretty much all we would see. Those are along exactly the same lines of that very good description (tyre floating and disappearing). I kind of like the fact that some animals keep their mystique by remaining elusive.

I read about the humpback, that would indeed be a great sight in these waters.

Martin Williams's picture

With the furore over government's mad plans to build "Incinerator Island" beside southwest Shek Kwu Chau, I've learned it's one of top three sites for finless porpoise in HK: others are Po Toi and Sokos. Best season maybe Jan to May.

Recently, hired sampan from CHeung Chau public pier, to go to waters off sw Shek Kwu Chau, tnen to Tai Long Wan, southest Lantau (where there's a beach, and village with organic farms I think you can buy vegetables from). Saw 5-8 porpoises off sw Shek Kwu Chau. Max 8 people on sampan; cost us HK$600.