Promoting Sustainability in Hong Kong

Per capita seafood consumption in Hong Kong is among the highest in the world: we each eat in excess of 70kg of seafood a year. Taking into account the territory’s population, that’s an annual consumption of roughly 490,000 tonnes. Given the large proportion - about 90% - that’s imported, it’s even more important that we know where our seafood is coming from, and how it is being produced.

The Hong Kong Sustainable Seafood Coalition (HKSSC) was recently established to address this need. The HKSSC, of which 178 Degrees is a founding member, comprises organisations from different areas of the seafood industry, such as suppliers, buyers, restaurants, hotels and retail outlets. Ben So, who heads 178 Degrees, is also the coalition’s chairman.

The coalition’s main objective is to promote responsible seafood sourcing and consumption in Hong Kong. To achieve this, coalition members, in conjunction with the UK Sustainable Seafood Coalition (UKSSC), developed a code of conduct, which outlines good sourcing policies and labelling practices.

In particular, the HKSSC aims to tackle the following issues.

  • Lack of common language and confusing terminology relating to ‘sustainable seafood’

  • Poor access to information about the industry

  • Limited availability of sustainable sources and methods

  • Low consumer awareness of seafood sustainability and other related issues

Key ideas of the codes of conduct also include transparency, sustainability, traceability, responsibility and risk assessments. Although these all go hand-in-hand, they are individually very important.

The HKSSC is committed to advancing the sustainable seafood market in Hong Kong. Although this is an industry-led movement, consumers also have a part to play. We can each help by raising awareness and making the right choices when buying seafood.

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