Hong Kong’s taste for luxury seafood is riding a trade-in endangered marine species taken into consideration unsustainable and is likewise often unlawful. Traditional Chinese medicine, which regularly includes rare or exceptional animals as ingredients, is every other good-sized motive force of this change. But cognizance is developing inside the metropolis, and over the last ten years, growing efforts to address the exchange by way of stifling demand have introduced effective outcomes.
Sustainability is now a part of the verbal exchange way to seafood courses that help shoppers make the proper selections and apps that collect person fish records if you want to prevent smuggling. The big players are making changes too, with restaurants and motels thinking about the seafood issue in their corporate social duty policies. And in Chinese medication, researchers test the efficacy of conventional components, including the seahorse, and running to locate substitutes. But are these efforts enough to forestall the change and store the sea creatures it threatens?
Marcy Trent Long: This is Marcy Trent Long. Welcome to Sustainable Asia. Three Billion is a four-element podcast series approximately the seafood change in Hong Kong, China, and Asia. It’s made in collaboration with chinadialogue and subsidized with the aid of Swire Group Charitable Trust.
Gloria Lai: Hong Kong is like a small city; it’s minimal. But we consume several seafoods. Per capita, we rank 2d in Asia and 8th inside the global.
Marcy: We’re in Hong Kong, where each year US$3 billion is made within the seafood change, making it a truly global hub.
In the previous episode, I found out how important seafood is to Asian delicacies and how reef fish, sharks, and different likely endangered species are captured off the coast of nations rich in ocean wildlife, however negative in oversight capability. The captured fish are added lower back to the unfastened port of Hong Kong to be dispensed to seafood eating places and markets at some stage in China and Asia.
To locate the excellent solution to this unlawful trafficking of marine wildlife, I wanted, first of all, ongoing campaigns in Hong Kong and China which are successfully converting patron attitudes and making people aware of endangered fish.
I invited Gloria Lai, senior program officer of WWF Hong Kong, over to the studio to speak approximately WWF Hong Kong’s sustainable seafood marketing campaign. She has been working for quite a while with seafood suppliers.
Gloria: In the primary few years of my professional existence, I worked in catering. So I labored in one-of-a-kind brands of eating places, like fast-meals chains. So I recognize how many effects we can make [as] eating places [on] environmental problems.
Marcy: When Gloria started out running on ocean sustainability at WWF in 2015, the NGO already had an extended history of raising focus on sustainable seafood.
Gloria: We commenced [our] Seafood Choice Initiative [in] 2007, and that [was the] second we released our very own seafood guide. So within the seafood guide, we’ve greater than 70 seafood items, which might be [most] not unusual in Hong Kong markets.
Marcy: Gloria and her crew divided those 70 seafood gadgets into three categories. A crimson list for unsustainable seafood, which you should avoid. A yellow listing for seafood that you shouldn’t devour too regularly, and a green list for seafood that’s sustainable. Like the one by WWF Hong Kong, sustainable seafood guides are this type of awesome little device to make the right selection whilst you’re doing groceries or ordering food at a restaurant.
Gloria: If you ask the restaurants [or] you ask the waiters: “What fish is it or where does it come from?” Then if more human beings ask those questions, they may begin to know it’s miles very essential for them. So we additionally encourage people to ask.
Marcy: On WWF’s red listing are the same old suspects: Chilean sea bass, which is just a more appetizing name for the overfished Patagonian toothfish, and bluefin tuna. Then there’s an entire bunch of groupers, the colorful reef fish that Yvonne Sadovy cited in the previous episode. One species that constantly stands out to me is the humphead wrasse, or Napoleon fish, a massive, strange-searching fish that’s an aquarium favored and also occurs to be Yvonne’s favorite of all the reef fish she’s studied.
Yvonne Sadovy: Now, the Napoleon fish, if ever you should look at an image of 1, you will see that it has tremendously complicated facial markings. In reality, one of the names of this fish is the Maori wrasse after the Maori people’s tattoos.
Marcy: That’s Yvonne Sadovy. She’s a professor at the University of Hong Kong, where she studies the change in stay reef fish. You can see this fish in quite a variety of seafood eating places here in Hong Kong. Ever devoted to her motive, Yvonne herself really helped the Indonesian authorities provide you with a legal export quota of two,000 Napoleon fish according to yr. As long as no more than 2,000 fish are caught annually, the populace can be strong and the fishery sustainable. So why is it on WWF’s pink listing?