Tide Catching Tower 捕潮塔


The Loss of Sand in Sha Lo Wan


Sha Lo Wan once featured abundant fishing, oyster farming, and agricultural resource and had been the largest human settlement in Lantau Island since the late 17th century. However, due to the urban development in recent decades: HK International Airport and Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, a lot of sand was transported for the reclamation land. Plus the severe erosion generally happening around north Lantau, the sand beach faces significant degradation.

This then causes issues in 3 inter-related facets:

1. Loss of oyster habitat and decrease in oyster harvest

Oysters reefs prefer to grow on a stable and rather hard surface. However, the sand on the seabed is gradually replaced by soft mudflat and therefore oysters are losing reliable habitats along the way.

Villagers nowadays still grow some oysters with the bottom culture method but can now only harvest very little amount during the low tide period.

2. Loss of fishery resources and traditional fishing techniques

there used to be two types of semi-automated fishing methods that use the natural tide to catch fish, without much manpower included.


Now there are still remnants to be seen

because of the loss of natural oyster reefs, the other species also decrease in numbers. Fishing begins to disappear from the local villagers' daily life.

3. Loss of human recreational land and scenery

villagers and tourists used to enjoy the ample and clean sandy beach.

however, such a place for recreation is shrinking along with the oyster habitat.

  1. Can we reconstruct and facilitate the growth of maritime ecosystems by
  2. What if oysters farming works with or even adapts the concept behind traditional fishing techniques?
  3. Is it feasible to insert multiple eye-catching nodal points to attract people, local or tourists, to enjoy some walk along the shoreline again?

The original concept is to maximize surface area for people, fishery, and oyster reefs with vertical intervention. The structure can be easily duplicated and provide multiple nodal/ converging points on the offshore areas.

The Tide-Catching Tower is investigating a new way to combine traditional semi-automated fishing techniques into oyster farming by using natural tide. It not only pays respect to the natural environment but the passive design also helps to decrease manpower and increase the usable surface area for oyster farming. The up-and-down movement also provides down-welling and up-welling for oysters.