Conservation of fisheries resources
The Government pursues a number of fisheries management and conservation measures to conserve the fisheries resources in Hong Kong waters and promote the sustainable development of the Hong Kong fisheries industry.
Ban trawling in Hong Kong waters
The Legislative Council has passed the legislative amendments to ban trawling (including pair, stern, shrimp and hang trawling) in Hong Kong waters with the aim to protecting the precious marine resources and ecosystem, so that the damaged seabed and depleted marine resources can rehabilitate as soon as possible. The trawl ban came into effect on 31 December 2012.
To assist the fishermen affected by the trawl ban, the Government introduces a one-off assistance scheme in order to alleviate the impact on their livelihoods brought about by the trawl ban. The scheme includes:
i. making ex-gratia payments to affected trawler owners;
ii. buying out affected inshore trawlers from trawler owners who voluntarily surrender their vessels; and
iii. providing one-off assistance to affected local deckhands employed by the affected inshore trawler owners and affected fish collector owners.
Some of the bought-out trawlers will be processed and deployed as artificial reefs, which are conducive to enhancing the rehabilitation of the fisheries resources and improving the marine habitat in Hong Kong waters.
The Government introduces a special training programme to the affected trawler fishermen and their local deckhands with a view to equipping them with the skill and knowledge for switching to other sustainable fishing operations such as mariculture and recreational fishing.
Artificial reef project
Since 1996 AFCD has been implementing an artificial reef project to enhance fisheries resources and promote bio-diversity in Hong Kong 's marine environment. Artificial reefs are recognised world-wide for their ability to encourage growth and development of a great number and variety of marine organisms, which in turn provide food, shelter and protection for fish. They are an excellent fisheries resources enhancement tool for much of Hong Kong 's open sea-bed, where habitat is limiting the variety and abundance of reef fish. A total of 673 units of artificial reefs with a total volume of over 179,200 cubic metres has been deployed in suitable waters of Hong Kong such as marine parks, fish culture zones, and important spawning and nursery grounds. Results of underwater monitoring survey revealed that the deployed artificial reefs supported a higher diversity and abundance of fish species as compared with natural habitat. Over 220 species of fish, including many high-valued species such as groupers, breams, snappers and sweetlips, are using the reefs for feeding, shelter and as spawning and nursery areas.
Please visit our website on Artificial Reef Project for more information.