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Shek Ngau Chau and Tar Long Pai

About The Site

Shek Ngau Chau is a small island situated in the south of Mirs Bay, in the northeast of Hong Kong. A white building, which is a lighthouse, sits atop the island and serves as a landmark. In summer, when terns migrate southwards to breed, the island is crowded by breeding terns and their chicks, and tourists are forbidden from getting on the island to minimize disturbance.

Southwest to Shek Ngau Chau, another diveable spot called “Tar Long Pai”, also known as “Three Incense Sticks”, lies beneath the surface. Formed by three interconnected underwater rocky hills, the site can be as shallow as 2 m at the highest peak, while the other 2 peaks are found at 5 m and 8 m. Nearby, a shipwreck houses marine creatures of many sorts. In 2012 and 2020, explosives have been discovered by divers in Shek Ngau Chau waters.

As a small island in the middle of the sea, Shek Ngau Chau and Tar Long Pai are unprotected and with no natural barriers. As such, diving at both spots is discouraged in the presence of east or southeast winds stronger than force 3. The two sites can also reach over 20 m deep and are both steeply sloped, making them more suitable for experienced divers. Beginner divers are not advised to dive at these two spots.

As a relatively deep dive site, beautiful gardens of colourful soft corals can be seen here. On shallower terrains, large areas of rocky reefs are colonized by hard corals. Common reef fishes here include Yellow hawkfish, lionfishes, Barred soapfish, assortments of butterflyfishes, and Bronze sweeper. Other than common species, the site also features rarer species such as Pennant coralfish, Red seabream, Spottedtail morwong, sicklefishes, Chicken grunt, Kawakawa, anthiases, and Round ribbontail ray. Some have spotted various species of nudibranchs, Majoidea crabs, and feather stars and the lucky divers might even find Squat lobsters clutching onto their feather star hosts.

Soft Coral & Gorgonian: Yes

AFCD Coral Area Anchor: None

Marine Protected Area: No

Sandy / Rubble Habitat: No

Rock / Boulder Habitat: Yes

Anemone Garden: No

Deep water areas (> 18m): Yes

Surface Traffic: Sparce with occasional traffic from commercial or recreational fishing boats passing by

Mobile Signal: No

Muddy / Silty Habitat: No

AFCD HK Artificial Reef Project: No

Beach: No

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1 = Simple, 5 = Difficult

Total Cumulative Species Count: 98

Suggested Boarding pier: Wong Shek pier

Distance from Suggested Boarding Pier: 10 km from Wong Shek pier

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