The following is an email from Dr. Andy Cornish, which shows how you can support planned measures that could greatly help Hong Kong’s severely depleted fish stocks.
In short (and 7 years after it was first recommended!) the Agriculture,
Fisheries and Conservation Dept. is proposing an Amendment of the Fisheries
Protection Ordinance. This is badly needed as HK has been heavily overfished
for decades. They are proposing 3 things:
i) That all fishing boats are licensed (yup, at the moment they are not!)
ii) That 3 big areas (Port Shelter out from Sai Kung town, Tolo harbour and Long harbour
HK. see map in link below) become Fisheries Protection Areas (FPAs).
That basically means no trawling, and no fishing whatsoever in some areas
iii) That HK join the 2 month fishing ban that occurs in the South China Sea around HK every year
If you are a diver the Fisheries Protection Areas could directly affect you.
At the moment the no-fishing zones are only over 2 areas of artificial reefs
and include NO natural reef. This really doesn’t make sense as the FPAs are
supposed to protect nursery and spawning grounds which definitely includes
natural reefs too, such as coral communities. If AFCD can be persuaded to
also include at least some areas of natural reefs as no-fishing, you would have a
good chance of being able to dive in those areas in the future and actually
see some big fish (like in the Cape d’Aguilar Marine Reserve near Shek O where
fish populations have made a huge recovery since it was made no fishing in
As you can imagine there will almost certainly be strong opposition by
fishermen, even though the measures should help to make fish stocks
healthier for everyone in the long term, so it is important that AFCD receives support
from the public. Otherwise the 3 measures will almost certainly get watered
down. I¡¦m not going to try and influence what you say but it would be great
if you could voice your support for the proposals, and any other views. Even if
you want something radical, like no fishing anywhere in the FPAs, your view
is just as valid as anyone else so please tell them.
I’d be happy to talk to anybody interested about this and can draft an
e-mail that you can alter as you like if you want. You can find more info at
[page no longer at URL]
The person to e-mail with your comments is Dr Patsy Wong (address below,
quote Amendment of the Fisheries Protection Ordinance). The consultation period
finishes March 6 2005 so you need to comment before then. Please also
forward this to anybody you think may be interested, especially divers.
Please direct all emails to: Dr. Patsy Wong, Senior Fisheries Management Officer, AFCD.