Conservation group WWF’s third Sustainable Seafood Week will officially start tomorrow. One of the highlights is Hong Kong’s Savour Local Flavours Market, which runs until November 11 at Kwun Tong Promenade.
The market is designed to urge Hong Kong people to rethink their seafood consumption choices, find out the sources of the seafood they eat, and generally be more eco-aware. It also promotes sustainable fishing, an idea which says fisheries should be harvested at a rate where the fish population does not decline over time because of overfishing.
“WWF is working with partners in the F&B industry and supermarkets to influence the demand of sustainable living, including sourcing sustainable seafood with greater transparency and traceability,” said Peter Cornthwaite, chief executive officer of WWF Hong Kong. He added that sustainable seafood should be recognised as the norm, rather than an option.
A group of students from French International School (FIS) is helping to run a booth at the market, where visitors can learn about about the negative impacts of eating shark fin.
The students were disturbed by the fact that 50 per cent of all shark fin worldwide are traded to Hong Kong.
“A lady from the Hong Kong Shark Foundation came to talk to us at school in the humanity class. She did a whole presentation and it really touched us personally,” said Chloe Petermann, 15, said. “That’s why we wanted to spread the message to protect the sharks.”
When asked about how they are planning to enhance people’s understanding of this issue, Marion Leconte, 14, told Young Post that “actions like this market encourage people to fight for the same cause”.
Aristide Gry, 14, said he thought that sharks were misunderstood and misrepresented. “When the movie Jaws came out, it influenced people’s perspective of sharks. People became scared of them.” And yet, he added, while sharks are resposible for about only five deaths a year and are viewed as one of the greatest threats to mankind, the far less feared snakes cause 75,000 deaths per year.
One of the vendors at the market, Peony Wong Ka-ka, sells products such as tote bags handmade from snack packaging. She said to Young Post: “Hongkongers are so used to throwing stuff away, especially at this time of the year, when people go hiking and camping. They will always dispose the packaging after finishing what’s inside without a second thought.”
Wong added that Hong Kong's young people should enjoy teh fun of thinking creatively about how to handle waste.
A total of six vendors have stalls at the market, selling eco-friendly items such as ceramics and clothes, while a range of Hong Kong-inspired dishes using sustainably sourced seafood is also available (just remember to bring reusable cutlery and containers). Entrance to the market is free.
WWF's third Sustainable Seafood Week will run from tomorrow to 18 November at locations around the city. Other activities include guided eco visits to giant grouper and grey mullet farms in Mai Po.