Early history

The roots of Teng Hoi go back to an expedition team of scientists from Oxford University working on a coral reef survey in Sabah, Malaysia in 1994.  Almost every day during our 3-4 hours in the water we’d feel the impact of a fish bomb.  Some of the nearby ones produced a very disturbing feeling – a little like being kicked in the chest.  Simon Wilson and myself were talking about the bombs one day when Simon asked if it was possible to detect the explosions with hydrophones.  And so the fish bomb detector was born.

Development of the fish bomb detection system

Progress was slow for a couple of years, but in 1997 I moved to Hong Kong to take up a teaching post in Li Po Chun United World College.  One of my students was interested to explore underwater sounds and we started to construct bomb-like devices using plastic fizzy drinks bottles partially filled with water and some dry ice.  As the dry ice sublimed into carbon dioxide, the pressure in the bottle would eventually burst it and we could pick up the ‘boom’ sounds on hydrophones.   Tom Renneberg was studying at the college and his father Professor Reinhard Renneberg, a professor of chemistry at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology became interested in the project.  Scientists taking the trouble to blow up plastic bottles in the college swimming pool appealed to Reinhard and a healthy partnership was born.  Reinhard pulled in Vincent Li at the university and the project picked up momentum.

In 2000 and 2002, Simon and myself did the field research on bomb fishing in Sabah, which was later published in Marine Pollution Bulletin.  Around 2002 we were connected with the UNEP through their programme ‘Reversing Environmental Degradation Trends in the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand’.  Working closely with Professor Ridzwan at Universiti Malaysia Sabah we developed a robust development programme proposal.  Unfortunately, after many meetings and related work, the UNEP were unable to participate in the work.  During the waiting period we worked with WWF Hong Kong to install a pilot bomb detection system into their Marine Life Center in the northern part of the HKSAR and discovered that bomb fishing occur frequently in Mirs Bay – one of the detection systems recorded evidence of 25 blasts over a 5 day period.  Meanwhile the need for blast detection in Sabah and many other territories is very obvious.  Negotiations are ongoing to find a solution that will enable the development of the technology and related systems of enforcement and alternative income programmes for fishermen that will turn the tide of this most destructive of fishing techniques.

Formation of Teng Hoi and our other programmes

During this period, Teng Hoi was formalized as a chartitable non-profit making organization in Hong Kong with Alan Lau joining the board of directors.  Since the fish bombing detector tends to move sporadically, Teng Hoi has developed a number of other highly successful programmes linked to the environment and education with a core value that fits with Teng Hoi’s philosophy of encouraging participation and interest as well as providing measurable results.

Thanks to...

We would like to thank many people who have helped and continue to support Teng Hoi over the years and enabled its development to be built on stronger foundations.  We particularly value those who bring invaluable expertise and experience from business, commerce, finance, law and other professions as well as education.  Special thanks to: Sam Bevan, Eddie Lui, Patrick Woo, Alan Ngan, Ann and John Green, Jack Wong, Denise McCorry and Linda Olson.  We also have our dedicated team of musicians and helpers that support our orchestra – the HKMTO – who regularly work magic at Lee Siu Yam Memorial School.  Thanks to our members and volunteers that enable us to run events and activities in schools and elsewhere, with a special mention to Sandy Lau, Simon Lau, Athena Lau, Murphy Shin, Joseph Ho, Trudi Charlesworth, Chris Lam, Ellie Ng, Zoe Coughlan, Alla Lau, Jay Jing He, Tina Xiao Chun Yao, Xavier Keung, Jeany Wu, Bruce Stephens, Ben Nistor, Jamie Bell, Colin Diersing, Aarti Reddy, Ximena Purita Banegas Zallio, Irene Garibay Sanchez, Maytik Avirama Pabon, Luiza Montesanti, Velastegui Cobo, Paul Miki, Laure Vergeron and Pushpa Pandey.  Teng Hoi works closely with other organizations that have helped move forward their aims and ours.  Many thanks must go to Calvin Lee Kwan at the Institute for Environment at HKUST, Carol Ma at the Office of Service Learning, Lingnan University, Michael Edesess, Josie Close and Robert Gibson at City University of Hong Kong, Janelle Knox-Hayes of Georgia Tech University, Debby Cotton at University of Plymouth, Sophia Chan-Combrink at British Council Hong Kong, Cecilia Chan at the British Consulate General of Hong Kong, Eric Walker of the The Climate Group, Sandy Lau and Jack Cheng of Green Collar, Eric Baum of WWF Hong Kong, Tim Gilkison of the In-House Community, Darren Gilkison of Splash, Ronnie Ng of Best Practice Management, David Sanders at The Green Patch, Dovenia Chow at the British Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong, Jenny Quinton at Ark Eden on Lantau, Dan Groshong at The Hummingfish Foundation, Zoe Bullock at Safe Composting Technology Ltd, Molly Milne at Redseed Design, Paul Smith and Pete Gauld at Brazilian Soccer Schools in Hong Kong, Joyce Wu and Tim Lee at Cana Elite, Doug McDiarmid and Kim Polgreen at Oxford Study Courses, Christophe Renaud at Mexel, Kenji Williams of Bella Gaia and Stanley Lam of Acton Consulting Limited.

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