Trawling Ban Has Now Started in Hong Kong02 January 2013
HONG KONG - A spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) has reminded fishermen that the ban on trawling came into force 31 December. Letters have also been issued to fishermen's groups to inform them of the implementation.
To protect our precious marine resources and ecosystem, the Government proposed to amend the subsidiary legislation under the Fisheries Protection Ordinance (Cap 171) to prohibit trawling, which is a non-selective fishing operation, in Hong Kong waters. The subsidiary legislation was passed by the Legislative Council and it will come into effect on December 31, 2012.
"A ban on trawling activities will bring the harmful depletion to an immediate halt and thus enable the marine ecosystems to be gradually rehabilitated to an ecologically sustainable level. Not only will species with commercial value return to our waters, those of ecological value such as corals and sea turtles will also benefit from a less disturbed and better preserved marine environment. In addition, a well-managed marine environment will also ensure a stable supply of quality sea fish for Hong Kong people," the spokesman said.
The Fisheries Protection Ordinance (Cap 171) serves to protect fish and other forms of aquatic life within the waters of Hong Kong, under which destructive fishing methods such as the use of toxic substances, explosives, electricity, dredging and suction devices are prohibited.
Under the Fisheries Protection (Specification of Apparatus) (Amendment) Notice, any apparatus, whether operated manually or mechanically, which is intended to be used to drag or tow a net on the seabed or through the water by one or more vessels with the aim of catching fish will be prohibited. Trawling activities including pair, stern, shrimp, hang and silver shrimp trawling will be prohibited. Any offender on conviction is liable to a maximum penalty of a fine of $200,000 and imprisonment for six months.
The AFCD will flexibly deploy resources to step up patrols and stringently enforce the law. The departments concerned will also enhance communication and co-operation to combat illegal fishing activities in Hong Kong waters. Joint enforcement actions will be carried out where necessary.
TheFishSite News Desk