Tuna firm’s bungled IPO exposes China’s flouting of global fishing rules

Taken from the Guardian newspaper on the 27th of October 2014:
(Note: Tuna also occurs in HK waters, mostly on seasonal migration)

Reporting on international fishing can often feel like investigating organized crime. Everyone knows how things are run, but the truth is obscured by shell companies, back-door dealings, and plausible deniability.

This is why it’s remarkable that a recent, bungled initial public stock offering from a major Chinese tuna firm accidentally revealed something close to the truth about China’s fishing industry.

The failed IPO is the work of China Tuna Industry Group, which from 2011 to 2013 was the largest Chinese supplier of premium tuna to Japan’s hungry sushi market. Over 70% of its $62m in annual sales are made to a single company, Toyo Reizo, a subsidiary of Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp. Hoping to raise over $100m to expand this profitable operation, China Tuna filed draft documents for the IPO in June.

China Tuna’s target fish stocks, Bigeye and Yellowfin tuna, are both in decline. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature lists Yellowfin tuna as “near threatened,” two steps into a seven-point scale that ends with extinction. Bigeye tuna, meanwhile, are already seriously overfished, as the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency declared this summer.

But for the IPO to succeed, the company had to convince potential shareholders that chasing after dwindling resources would be a profitable venture. So China Tuna leapfrogged over more recent data to cite a 2011 fisheries assessment that rated Bigeye tuna at a “healthy level of abundance” and “not overfished”.

Despite this claim’s shady appearance, it’s hard to know whether China Tuna’s overly rosy assessment of Bigeye tuna stocks was deliberate. The IPO filing is a draft, so fact-checking is by definition ongoing.

But the company did declare in the draft IPO that it intended to circumvent international conservation limits on tuna – by simply ignoring them. In a series of circular arguments, the document stated that China, which presides over the world’s largest long-distance fishing fleet, would not crack down on companies engaged in illegal fishing because it never had in the past; that the catch limits set by the Regional Fisheries Management Organizations apply only to China the country, not to actual Chinese fishing boats; and that even if the catch limits did apply, the regional fisheries organizations would not enforce them because “there is no sanction for non-compliance with Bigeye catch limits.”

I wanted to contact China Tuna for comment on these statements. The IPO revealed that China Tuna is a transnational corporation under the communist Chinese flag, operating Japanese and Chinese vessels and registered in the Cayman Islands. Its primary shareholders are Li Li, a 24-year-old woman with a passport from St Kitts, and her dad, Li Zhenyu.

As I tried to track down Li Li’s tuna giant, I discovered that like many big fishing companies, China Tuna is hard to reach. Seeking a phone number for the firm’s operations office in Hong Kong, I found that not only is China Tuna’s office number unlisted – the company doesn’t even have an office.

So I tracked the address in the IPO filing back to a firm named Asialink. At first Asialink denied any connection with China Tuna. When confronted with the fact that its address had been listed in a recent publicly filed document as China Tuna’s operations headquarters, Asialink acknowledged a connection, but refused to provide any comment or additional contact information.

Then I called China Tuna’s biggest subsidiary, Dalian Ocean Fishing. The woman who answered the phone at first claimed no knowledge of China Tuna. After a little more conversation, she acknowledged that China Tuna was Dalian’s parent corporation, but refused to comment further or put me in touch with company directors.

I have yet to speak with anyone who admits to working directly for China Tuna. But the firm’s combination of bravado and impenetrable corporate structure offer clues as to why the health of the oceans is in freefall. China has told the world that from 2000 to 2011 it caught 368,000 tons of fish annually in international waters. But as the Wall Street Journal reported in 2012, the European Commission estimates the catch at closer to 4.6m tons or 12 times greater.

So China Tuna is obviously not the only Chinese company implementing the “overfish-wildly-and-rely-on-not-getting-caught” business plan, just the first to boast about it to potential shareholders.

Greenpeace filed a complaint in September with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, stating that China Tuna was deliberately misleading investors about the health of tuna populations. Campaigner Elsa Lee was amazed not at China Tuna’s Machiavellian business plan, but at its candor. “Having a company write it down, and in some sense shamelessly admitting that they’re running around the rules,” she says, “is really quite amazing.”

In a letter of response to Greenpeace, China’s Bureau of Fisheries stated that while Dalian Ocean Fishing, China Tuna’s subsidiary, currently holds licenses for 17 vessels to operate in the Pacific, “the Ministry does not give approval to companies registered overseas to conduct offshore fishing activities, and thus the company’s actions are already in violation of relevant laws and regulations.” So it would appear that China issued fishing licenses to China Tuna without realizing it’s a Cayman Islands company run by a foreign national.

The statement was also at odds with the company’s draft IPO, which described a series of tax breaks and state grants from the Chinese government for its deep sea fishing activity.

The Bureau of Fisheries also told Greenpeace that it was shocked – shocked! – to find overfishing in its establishment. Overfishing occurs because “China is a developing country, its offshore fishing companies are still weak, levels of management are still uneven, and the management system still needs to be steadily improved,” states the agency.

Perhaps. Once wholly state-owned, 70% of the Chinese fishing industry has been privatized in recent years. It’s certainly plausible that the government is struggling to retool.

But China expert Tabitha Mallory believes there is more to it. She says fishing lies at the intersection of Chinese ambitions for military expansion and food security. While many political analysts refer to the 21st century as “the China century”, Mallory told the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission in 2012, China also calls it “the ocean century.” She points to a 2010 Chinese task force report stating that “marine biological resources are seen as the largest store of protein, therefore owning and mastering the ocean means owning and mastering the future”.

In this view, fishing boats become Trojan horses for expanding international power. China does, in fact, send military boats along with fishing boats into disputed fishing waters, sparking clashes with neighbors such as Japan, Vietnam, and South Korea. China would not be the first nation to tie fishing to military or political expansion, however. For example, my own reporting on tuna in the Western and Central Pacific suggests the United States bases its aid to allies in the region at least in part on tuna treaties.

Although the Hong Kong Stock Exchange recently ordered China Tuna to suspend its draft IPO, the document offers unusual if indirect acknowledgement of China’s habitual overfishing all over the globe. Glenn Hurry, head of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, says China will “hopefully face hard questions at the next regional fisheries meeting.” But don’t hold your breath. The fisheries management organizations that regulate the world’s ocean commons, like the rest of the fishing world, are completely nontransparent. No media allowed.

Shannon Service frequently reports on oceans and fishing, and is currently working on a documentary, The Ghost Fleet, about slavery in the international fishing industry.

This story was produced by the Food and Environment Reporting Network, an independent, non-profit news organization focusing on food, agriculture, and environmental health.

Original source link here

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Ciguatera Fish Poisoning Case Reported in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is investigating a suspected ciguatera poisoning case affecting a 38-year-old man. The patient, with good past health, developed symptoms of ciguatera poisoning including facial and tongue numbness, skin itchiness over the forehead and the neck, abdominal pain and diarrhoea about two to three hours after eating a marine fish at home on September 24.
He attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital on September 25 and was subsequently admitted. He is now in stable condition. The CHP’s investigations are ongoing.

Ciguatera fish poisoning is not uncommon in tropical areas. More than 400 species of fish have been implicated in this food borne illness that’s relatively common in several areas of the world. This toxin is the result of the accumulation of marine algae and the toxins they produce passing up the food chain. These marine algae hang on to dead coral and seaweed. They are then eaten by herbivore fish which are subsequently eaten by predatory reef fish which concentrates the toxin in its tissue.
The toxin accumulates in the fish body, in particular in internal organs, through eating small fish that consumed toxic algae in coral reef seas. A larger fish is therefore more likely to carry higher amounts of the toxin. However, it is not easy to tell from the appearance of the fish whether it contains the toxin. The reef fishes are more likely to get contaminated during storms and other turbulence.

People affected may show symptoms of numbness of the mouth and the limbs, vomiting, diarrhoea, pain in the joints and muscles. An unusual characteristic that is common in ciguatera is temperature reversal. This may be seen from 2 to 5 days after eating the fish. Hot objects seem cold and cold objects can give a shock-like sensation. There have been serious injuries because a person was unable to recognize extremely hot sensations. Other odd symptoms are food may taste metallic and teeth may seem painful or loose.Most people affected by ciguatoxin would recover without long-term health effects, but if excessive toxins are consumed, the circulatory and nervous systems can be affected.
Symptoms may come back after ingesting certain foods and drinks; alcohol, caffeine, nuts and fish.
There are no laboratory tests to diagnose this disease and it’s based on clinical symptoms and a history ofeating an offending fish.

Ciguatera fish poisoning is the most common form of neurotoxin poisoning associated with the consumption of fish in Hong Kong. From 2000 to 12 June 2013, the Centre for Food Safety had received 284 referrals of CFP from the Department of Health (see Figure). A total of 867 persons were affected.

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Number of ciguatoxins cases from 2000 to 2013 (Up to 12 June 2013)

The reporting of CFP occurred year round. However, it was observed that over 60% of total cases were reported in March to July of the year. The number of person affected also provided similar observation.

Different kinds of coral reef fish caught in the wild were known to be associated with CFP. Black fin red snapper, Tiger grouper, Lyretail, Leopard coral grouper, Areolated coral grouper and Moray eel were the top six common types of fish linked to CFP, accounting for over 50% of CFP cases. Farmed fish which was usually fed by formulated pellet or trash fish was not likely the source of toxins.

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Fish commonly involved in CFP from 2000 to 12 June 2013.

The toxin cannot be destroyed by cooking. To prevent ciguatera fish poisoning, you should observe the following measures:

* Eat less coral reef fish;
* Eat small amounts of coral reef fish at any one meal and avoid having a whole fish feast in which all the dishes come from the same big coral reef fish;
* Avoid eating the head, skin, intestines and roe of coral reef fish, which usually have a higher concentration of toxins;
* When eating coral reef fish, avoid consuming alcohol, peanuts or beans as they may aggravate ciguatoxin poisoning;
* Seek medical treatment immediately should symptoms of ciguatoxin fish poisoning appear; and
* Coral reef fish should be purchased from reputable and licensed seafood shops. Do not buy the fish when the source is doubtful.

Hong Kong Centre for Food Safety Ciguatera page

Frankenstein’s Fish via The Coral Triangle

“AquAdvantage® Salmon…advanced hybrid salmon designed to grow faster.” Could you get a starker strapline for the commodification of fauna? As the challenges of feeding an exploding global population continue to grow, branded animals like these GM salmon produced by biotech company Aquabounty Technologies could be commonplace, but what about the dangers? GM salmon made headlines recently, with some fearing threats to wild stocks in the Atlantic if they were to escape.

Hybrid grouper on the other hand get almost no media attention, yet they potentially pose a far greater danger.  Hybridization is big business in South East Asia, where aquaculture businesses are interbreeding valuable grouper species  in a bid to create a fast growing  super fish.

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Live grouper are highly prized in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Taiwan and other parts of South East Asia. They crowd tanks in seafood restaurants and are ubiquitous at Chinese wedding banquets and other formal occasions, where tradition demands they are served. Grouper can  sell for more than US$100 a kilo and very large or rare specimens for much more. The market is huge – in Hong Kong alone, a staggering 3.6 million grouper are consumed each year.

But demand has led to rampant overfishing across South East Asia’s Coral Triangle bioregion.  Fishermen often use cyanide to stun fish, destroying coral reefs in the process. According to a recent University of Hong Kong study, one in ten grouper species face extinction if current trends aren’t arrested.

On the face of it, advanced aquaculture techniques offer a way of fulfilling market demand while reducing the pressure on wild populations. Grouper are nurtured first in hatcheries from cultivated eggs and then in coastal cages or sometimes factories on land. The goal of hybridization is to achieve the holy trinity of rapid growth rates, resilience and superior taste.

“Hybridization of grouper isn’t new,” says Geoffrey Muldoon, a marine biologist with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) “In 1996 the University of Malaysia in Sabah, Borneo produced a giant grouper/tiger grouper, dubbed the Sabah Grouper specifically for live reef fish food markets in Hong Kong,” he explains. The hybrid was a huge success with consumers and a boom followed. “Fast forward almost two decades and the science of grouper hybridisation has exploded,” says Muldoon.

In the early days, scientists only experimented with cross breeding natural grouper species. But then researchers in Taiwan went a step further. They began breeding hybrids with naturals and then different hybrids with each other. According to Irwin Wong, a live fish trader in Sabah, at last count, there were at least 12 new hybrid grouper variants and research is continuing in what has become a race to create a super grouper.

GM salmon are farmed inland, making escape relatively unlikely.  But grouper are often kept in cages at sea.. “The fact is, hybrids may already have escaped,” says Wong. “If there’s a storm, fish often get free.” His fear is that two hybrids will breed in the wild. “If that happened, the effects on the ecosystem could be devastating.”

Grouper are hermaphrodites – or monandric protogynous hermaphrodites to give them their full title. Early in their growth cycle they are females, but in adulthood they can change into males. No one knows the precise trigger for this transformation, though size, age and environmental factors all play a part. Hybrid groupers in captivity are all female – but in the wild they could easily change sex, according to Wong. Which brings up the possibility of a sort of “X-Grouper” wreaking havoc with the food chain.

The current scientific consensus is that hybrid grouper are infertile – but since their reproductive cycle is still not fully understood, this is far from fact. At an Intergovernmental Forum of the six Coral Triangle countries in early 2013, experts agreed that “the hybridization of grouper has reached an alarming level, that escapes pose an as yet unknown risk to local wild populations and that this issue needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.”

Experts are meeting again to discuss the issue at the world’s first World Coral Reef Conference in Indonesia on 16 May.

The live reef fish for food trade is a notoriously under regulated industry. It’s also highly lucrative – worth as much as US$1 billion annually. But consumption tends to follow a boom and bust cycle. Once the Sabah Grouper became readily available its per kilo value dropped dramatically. “The pursuit of a faster growing hybrid species is understandable, but there is little evidence to suggest patterns of consumer demand truly merit more efforts on hybridisation,” says Muldoon. He believes the industry needs to self-regulate for hybridisation to become viable. More research on both the science and the market for groupers is desperately needed – but criminal elements and an industry wide culture of secrecy makes this difficult.

In the meantime, the possibility of a “Frankenfish” wreaking havoc across reef ecosystems in the Coral Triangle is a real and growing danger.

via FRANKENSTEIN’S FISH | Stories | The Coral Triangle.

Nuclear Sea Pineapple’s Coming to Hong Kong

A report on a Japanese Fukushima-themed blog suggests that ‘sea pineapples’ – the restaurant name for the ascidian or sea squirt species Halocynthia roretzi – from the area of Fukushima may soon find it’s way to Hong Kong. The report, which I have not independently verified yet, states that the Miyagi Fisheries cooperative is planning to export this species by air via Okinawa to Hong Kong, which may allow it to label the Origin as Okinawa instead of Miyagi Prefecture, Japan’ which some may recognise as very close to the stricken Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Facility which is still leaking radioactive elements into the surrounding sea.
‘Sea pineapples’ are apparently a Korean delicacy and also served as sushi in Japan.
The Miyagi fishery cooperative are also planning to export seaweed to Hong Kong along the same lines.

HATS and Mullets – Victoria Harbor

This week I spotted the largest school of fish I have ever seen in Hong Kong. The grey mullets (Mugil cephalus) were attracted to a submarine seawater cooling outflow pipe that was discharging a grey liquid into the sea in western Kowloon. Each of the fish in the video below is 30-50 cm in length and I estimate there were at least 1000 of them.

I often see large mullets in that area. They regularly leap several feet into the air which is quite a spectacular sight. I have also seen an old angler at the Central ferry piers catching a 40cm mullet to the raucous applause of about 30 onlookers. The thing is the fish wasn’t hooked through the mouth but through the fin (quite a skill!) because it was swimming at the surface gasping and dying…
The behaviour of leaping out of the water according to some sources is a method mullets use to get more oxygen by storing air in their bodies so they can dive down into anoxic or low-oxygen water layers to catch prey others can’t. Grey mullets are known to be hypoxia-tolerant meaning they can tolerate low-oxygen environments better than other fish.

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And here is another video of a large mullet just meters from Discovery Bay beach. The way it is gasping at the surface while swimming in its side is just how the fish was behaving which I saw caught at Central ferry pier.

So what does it mean if there is a large aggregation of fish which are known to be tolerant of low-oxygen environments and which are exhibiting low-oxygen behaviour? It’s a pretty good sign of a lack of oxygen – duh! What causes low oxygen in the sea? Nearly always eutrophication – the process whereby excess nutrients from normally man-made sources cause microscopic algae known as phytoplankton to grow into large blooms (and sometimes red tides). When these inevitably die off the mass of dead material on the seabed decomposes using up oxygen until there is so little that the seabed and lower depths become so-called dead zones (anoxic zone) where very few hardy species can survive.
So I suspected illegal waste-water discharge and made a report to the EPD (Environmental Protection Department) online including the above video (you can also report pollution via the government telephone hotline 1823).
Say what you want about the HK government, the civil service works! They followed up with a site visit to test the water and issued an order to the building management to repair their outflow pipe. Apparently the pipe was seawater cooling air conditioning outflow, but was discharging wastewater as well. Two days later after the problem was fixed and the fish were gone!

(Note: grey mullet is a very popular food fish in southern China and you will see it even in most supermarkets. But the vast majority is farmed – in case you were worried about your fish being from sewage outfalls!)

So what have HATS got to do with it?
HATS stands for the Harbour Area Treatment Scheme, a large sewage and wastewater treatment scheme designed to clean up HK’s notoriously filthy harbour. Setup in 2 phases, the first phase was successful enough to reduce the concentration of sewage to levels acceptable enough to allow the return of the New Year’s Cross Harbour Swim event. The annual event sees swimmers cross 1.89km from Lei Yu Mun’s Sam Ka Tsuen pier to Quarry Bay Park pier. First held in 1911 the event was stopped in 1978 because of health concerns.
However, in 2011 the EPD announced that water quality in the harbor, particularly in the eastern section where the race took place, had “shown significant improvement” and E. coli levels had decreased by 95 percent since 2001. Yet, the data from the EPD Shortly before the restarted race revealed that E. coli levels in the harbor were still twice the maximum acceptable level at Hong Kong bathing beaches. But it was still a big improvement.

The 2011 Cross-Harbour Swimming Race

The sewage levels are evaluated by measuring the concentration of the common gut bacteria Escheria coli(E. coli) in the samples as a proxy for all the other gut inhabiting and potentially dangerous bacteria and viruses in sewage.

However,the planned second phase of Hong Kong’s Harbour Area Treatment Scheme (HATS) has recently been put on indefinite hold. The upgrade would have boosted the capacity of the treatment works to remove nutrients such as phosphates from effluent. This would have reduce eutrophication and helped rehabilitate the dead zones. Excess phosphates are also linked to increases of toxic algal blooms.

Officials said the current chemical-based treatment system was enough to meet most water quality objectives and stressed the upgrade to biological treatment was not “critical” at this stage. The planned upgrade would deliver “only marginal improvements” to water quality in western Victoria Harbour and bring little benefit to near-shore pollution. Their priority was to cut off improperly connected pipes and crack down on unlawful discharges into the harbour off Central and Wan Chai.
When I first read that I was highly sceptical and thought the government was just trying to save money. But having seen illegal discharge from a major shopping mall and office complex directly into the Harbour I now think they actually have a very good point!

The HATS scheme overview

Denying the scheme was declared dead, assistant director of environmental protection Amy Yuen Wai-yin said that in terms of E coli levels close to the harbour’s shores, the upgrade was “not an answer”, citing water quality modelling results. The cost of the upgrade, according to the latest estimate based on 2012 prices, has almost tripled from the 2004 estimate of HK$11 billion to up to HK$30 billion. Perhaps then they are right to concentrate on cleaning up the illegal and accidental discharges of wastewater before tackling the finer points of more advanced clean up.

Jonathan Wong Woon-chung, another council member, said officials should clarify to what extent illegal discharges and improperly connected pipes contributed to water pollution. He also questioned whether the upgrade would have the intended effect, as improvements might be offset by cross-border pollution.

As a side note, the Kai Tak nullah, has been renamed Kai Tak river and has seen the return of grey mullets. This drainage channel in the old airport area is a catchment for several rivulets from the foothills of the Kowloon mountains, but was surrounded by rapidly growing factories and homes from the 1960’s to the late 1980’s which discharged all their effluent into it. It was so badly polluted and foul smelling that at one point there was a plan to completely cover it up and make it subterranean! Luckily science prevailed in the planning and there is now a scheme to remediate and green the area and especially the river. Obviously this wi take years, but the effort seems to already be beating fruits. See the project website here for more details.

The former Kai Tak Nullah now Kai Tak River at Tung Tau Estate
The former Kai Tak Nullah now Kai Tak River at Tung Tau Estate

Sustainable Fisheries Development Fund Invites Applications

The Sustainable Fisheries Development Fund has opened for applications. The Fund aims to help the local fisheries community move towards sustainable or high value-added operations so that the trade can enhance its overall competitiveness and cope with new challenges. This will allow fishermen to improve their ability to cope with the changing operating environment as well as their own livelihoods.

A spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said: “Capture fisheries in Hong Kong are affected by the depletion of fisheries resources and the trawl ban. Despite the opportunities available as a result of the restructuring of the fisheries industry, many local fishermen remain cautious about the prospects of growth while others are held back by the risks and technical challenges involved. Meanwhile, aquaculture also needs support for modernisation.

“Against this background, the administration has identified five possible areas for the fishing community and related stakeholders to put the Fund to good use, in furtherance of the objectives of placing the further development of the industry on a sustainable track. Projects not falling within such areas will also be considered as long as they are in line with the purpose of the Fund and meet the assessment criteria.

“The five areas are exploring new opportunities in the South China Sea, development of sustainable practices for fishing operations in Hong Kong waters, aquaculture development, accreditation and marketing of local fisheries products, and fisheries resources monitoring and enhancement.”

In vetting applications, the Advisory Committee on Sustainable Fisheries Development Fund (the Advisory Committee) will give due consideration to the project needs, feasibility and expected outcomes. The projects should contribute in a direct and practical way towards the sustainable development of the local fisheries industry. The benefits they bring about must accrue to the local fisheries community as a whole.

In general, the projects should be non-profit-making, but commercial projects may also be considered. Applicants will be required to draw up detailed business plans and budgets for the Advisory Committee to scrutiny. Projects involving commercial elements will be funded on a dollar-for-dollar matching basis. The Government’s contribution will be limited to no more than 50 per cent of the total project cost.

Eligible applicants include legal entities that have demonstrated a close connection with the local fisheries industry such as local incorporated companies, registered fisheries co-operatives, non-profit-making fisheries organisations, non-governmental organisations or social enterprises, as well as academic and research institutions in Hong Kong.

Applications are accepted throughout the year and the Advisory Committee will meet regularly to vet the applications. Completed application forms, together with information of the applicant demonstrating their connection with the local fisheries industry, should reach the Secretariat for the Fund at least six months prior to the commencement of the project.

Application guidelines and forms can be downloaded from the AFCD website (www.afcd.gov.hk) while hard copy is available from the Secretariat for the Fund and the liaison offices of the Fish Marketing Organization.

Source: The Fish Site, 11/7/2014

Hong Kong gets its ASC sustainable seafood guide

The latest edition of the Sustainable Seafood Guide includes information for seafood consumers in Hong Kong shopping for responsibly farmed fish.

For the first time, the guide educates on the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) logo for responsible aquaculture.

“This is a great step forward in informing Asian seafood customers about the ASC. By choosing seafood with the ASC logo, shoppers can make a difference and help protecting oceans, vulnerable marine environments and local farm communities,” said ASC’s CEO Chris Ninnes.

There are currently 1,120 ASC certified seafood products available in 37 countries across the globe.

“Not only is our market share growing in Asia, but we have an expanding base of certified farms in the region including Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam; and we anticipate strong future growth,” Ninnes said.

The Hong Kong Sustainable Seafood Guide is produced by World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) Hong Kong.

The methodology that the guide is based on has been developed by WWF, Seafood Choices Alliance, North Sea Foundation and the Marine Conservation Society. Fish guides can now be found in 18 countries around the globe.

The ASC on-pack logo was launched in 2012. All ASC labelled products can be traced back through the entire supply chain to a responsible managed fish farm.

Source: Undercurrent News, 9/7/2014