Two hawksbill turtles returned to sea

Press Release from Wednesday, June 27, 2012 from the AFCD Website (click here for original)

The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) today (June 27) released two sub-adult hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) in the southern waters of Hong Kong. They were handed in to the AFCD in October 2010 and May 2012.

After initial assessment by the AFCD, the turtles were delivered to Hong Kong Ocean Park (Ocean Park) for appropriate veterinary treatment, where they have since been kept with constant monitoring and veterinary care. Ocean Park staff hand-fed the hawksbill turtles with squid, shrimp and fish, which form part of their natural diet.

“The first hawksbill turtle was found underweight and had abrasions on the carapace when it first arrived at Ocean Park in 2010. When the second turtle arrived in 2012, foreign objects such as zip ties and straws were found in its stool. It also showed signs of strained and stressed muscles. However, the turtles showed great improvement in their health and behaviour, and recovered well under our team’s close observation and intensive veterinary care,” the Chief Veterinarian of Ocean Park, Dr Paolo Martelli said.

During rehabilitation, the two turtles exhibited considerable growth in size and improvement in activity, and were finally deemed physically fit for release to the wild. They currently measure approximately 57 cm and 49 cm in carapace length and weigh about 15kg and 10kg respectively.


Before the turtles were released into the sea, the AFCD inserted microchips and metal tags with unique codes on their flippers for future identification. Satellite transmitters were also attached to their carapaces. By tracing the oceanic movement and feeding grounds of hawksbill turtles, the AFCD can formulate appropriate protection measures and seek co-operation with relevant authorities to better conserve this critically-endangered species.

The AFCD is very thankful to the veterinarians and staff of Ocean Park for their assistance and efforts in taking care of the turtles, and will continue to work with Ocean Park in handling such cases.

In Hong Kong, all sea turtle species are protected under the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance (Cap 170) and the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance (Cap 586). Of the five species of sea turtles that can be found in local waters, hawksbills are the rarest. Hawksbill turtles are renowned for their strong bird-like beak and beautiful honey-marble carapace.

Members of the public are urged to report any sighting or stranding of sea turtles to the department via the 1823 Call Centre to help protect them. The AFCD will continue to promote public engagement in sea turtle conservation through educational materials and activities.

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Fish No. 1: the Pompano

Scientific Name: Trachinotus blochii
Common Names: Pompano, Snubnose Pompano
Origin: China, Mariculture
Date: 28th July 2012
Where: Fusion in Discovery Bay
Weight: 0.678 catty (410 g)
Cost: $58.90
Recipe: Steamed with ginger and soy sauce
WWF Sustainable Seafood Guide: Think Twice … oh-oh

Supermarket wrapped pompano

As this is the first fish, I went the easy route and got it from the supermarket. Interestingly, only two fishes from my list are for sale there: Pompano and Yellow Croaker. Not sure whether that’s HK overfishing, seasonal availability or Discovery Bay residents taste buds…
Follow this link for more info on the Pompano from the WWF HK’s website. I think as I am only eating this variety this one time, its ok.
But back to the fish: it looks a really a beautiful fish to look at. Its a strong, super-streamlined predator with small but nasty teeth. Here is what Herklots and Lin said:

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I don’t have much to add to that, except the fact that its a predator and easy to keep is the reason its on the WWF’s questionable list. Its taken from hatcheries in Taiwan and China and then raised up on fish farms until big enough to sell, where it is fed smaller fish as feed…and that’s the bit thats bad as its quite wasteful and smaller fish are often juveniles which shouldn’t be caught at all.

So here is a quick rundown of the meal:

    Steamed Pompano stuffed with chopped ginger and garlic (20 min), then covered in soy sauce
    Organic baby Shanghai greens lightly fried then cooked in sauce of soy, veg stock, sugar, sesame seed oil and cornstarch
    Plain steamed white rice

And now, the meal:

Cooked Pompano

My verdict on the fish:
Fantastic fish, but the recipe not that great. The fish was child’s play to take apart with big nice fleshy white chunks coming off clean with one stroke. Not very strong flavoured though and not very oily either. What a shame its on the WWF questionable list, because otherwise I would buy it more often. Score: 8/10

The wife’s verdict: fleshy, meaty fish, very subtle flavour. Thumbs up. 7/10

Eaten up remainders of a Pompano

Next week’s planned fish: Yellow croaker.

WWF: Sustainable Seafood Sourcing & Ocean-Friendly Menu

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© Jürgen Freund / WWF-Canon
The public understands that the future of our seas is at risk and people are becoming more aware of how their tastes can affect this. They want to know how their seafood is caught and the impact it will have on the sustainability of the oceans. There is substantial demand for sustainable alternatives – now it is up to you to respond to this call.
The Seafood Choice Initiative – Business Engagement Programme is designed to provide assistance in advising on procurement policy and sourcing sustainable seafood

In addition, through the “Ocean-Friendly Menu” programme, WWF works with the hotel/restaurant to develop and roll out a menu featuring WWF’s sustainable seafood. On top of their current menus, the participating hotel/restaurant has to introduce an additional menu that contains only sustainable seafood.

Participating in the sustainable seafood movement allows your restaurant to catch the wave of sustainable seafood. It is an important step for the whole catering industry in responding to the public’s demand.

DOWNLOAD Business Engagement Programme
PDF 1.88 MB
Procedure for sourcing sustainable seafood and developing an “Ocean-Friendly Menu”

Step 1

The hotel/restaurant and WWF will discuss the approach and scope of sustainable seafood sourcing. This helps WWF in providing a tailor-made advice, while relevant staff of both parties will understand the work direction and time frame.

Step 2

The hotel/restaurant has to prepare and submit the information of an agreed number of seafood items to WWF, which includes:
The name and species of the seafood
The country of origin (where is the seafood from?)
The harvesting method (wild-caught or farmed?)
The supplier’s name and contact details

Step 3

WWF will assess the seafood sustainability categories and recommend alternatives for seafood listed under “Red – Avoid”. You can choose the alternatives recommended by us or simply pick another sustainable seafood dish. In case you have difficulty in finding suppliers for seafood items listed under “Green – Recommended” and “Yellow – Think Twice”, WWF will provide seafood suppliers from our assessed database.

Step 4
The restaurant can further work with WWF to roll-out Ocean-Friendly Menu(s) which contains only seafood items listed under “Green – Recommended” and “Yellow – Think Twice”.

For interested parties, please contact us via email.

Thank you for joining us in saving the future of our oceans.
Who is already sourcing sustainable seafood and providing an “Ocean-Friendly Menu”?

The following hotels/restaurants are now sourcing sustainable seafood and offering an “Ocean-Friendly Menu” according to the WWF Seafood Guide:
Aberdeen Boat Club
AsiaWorld-Expo
Eaton Smart, Hong Kong
FINDS
InterContinental Hong Kong
Jumbo Kingdom
Lil’ Siam
Super Star Seafood Restaurant – 14 restaurants
The Banqueting House – 2 restaurants
The China House – 2 restaurants
The Helena May
The Hong Kong Jockey Club – 3 clubhouses
The Penthouse (Hang Seng Bank Headquarters)
Pacific Club – 5 outlets

Restaurants that also have the experience of sourcing and promoting sustainable seafood with WWF:
Choi Fook Royal Banquet
Coast Bistro and Bar
Conrad Hong Kong
Entourage
Federal Palace
Gloucester Luk Kwok Hong Kong
Grand Central Bar & Grill
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
iCaramba!
Kowloonbay International Trade & Exhibition Centre
Ladies’ Recreation Club
La Perouse Restaurant Bar & Lounge
Linguini Fini
Marriott Hotels – 4 hotels
Maxim’s Chinese Restaurant
Maxim’s Palace
McSorley’s Ale House
Posto Pubblico
Shangri-la Hotels – 2 hotels
Shore Steak
Taku Japanese Cuisine
The Aberdeen Marina Club
The Mira Hong Kong
The Peninsula Hong Kong

(Numbers of outlets shown as reported by the catering group)

Original article from WWF