It is very important that the government should produce an overall plan, but the use of the city’s territorial waters can be kicked off by promoting the city’s fishing culture, suggested Ron Lam U Tou, the director of local association Synergy Macao.
The association was established last February to address the city’s current issues and both Lam and Johnson Ian Heng Ut, the vice-director of the association, are taking part in the upcoming elections for the legislative assembly.
“You can provide sort of a ship tour to allow residents and tourists to get in touch with the city’s maritime space,” Lam told Business Daily. “And by starting this basic activity you can eventually develop others,” he opned.
One such event was organized by Fishermen’s Mutual Help Association, Macau, with the support of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) and the Marine and Water Bureau (DSAMA), taking place througout June and July and allowing residents to experience fishermen’s day-to-day life, with the event receiving much praise from participants.
The director noted that currently, since Macau shares the sea with China, those wishing to go on fishing boats cannot do so without authorization, as it’s considered as crossing the border.
“Unlike in Hong Kong, where many people rent a yacht to travel on the sea, this cannot happen in Macau,” said Lam, adding that anything related to maritime activities – such as the docking facilities – are slow to be developed and implemented.
“Many people would choose to rather dock their yachts in Hong Kong than in Macau,” said Lam.
Currently, there are some 50 buoys at the Coloane dock, 57 other berths off the Lam Mau Pier on the Macau Peninsula, managed by the Macau Yacht Club, and 22 other berths at Macau Fisherman’s Wharf.
Taking the example from the Zhongshan-Macau Free Yacht Scheme, launched last year, Lam notes that “yacht travellers have to dock their yacht at the buoys and take another boat to get onshore.”
The association director reiterated that it is more important to build up a culture of connecting to the maritime environment.
“Eight-five kilometres of territorial water isn’t really big,” commented Lam. “I personally think that we shouldn’t always plan to build something big, because our culture, for the time being, might not be able to support the plans.” However, he suggested that, at the early stages, having a boat on a fixed itinerary, between two points, could be set up.
The group yesterday brought attention to the issues of the city in providing leisure spaces for local residents, urging the MSAR government to initiate the work on the southern coast of the Macau peninsula, from the Barra area connecting Macau Tower, and the coastline of reclaimed land Zone B and the Macau Science Center.
The association is also planning to submit an interpellation to question related public departments on the possibility of creating a large scale wastewater treatment plan on the artificial island which will be connected to the Hong Kong-Zhuhai Macau Bridge.