Ocean Park takes the lead in driving an educational green dining experience in a joint effort by its various departments, including Food and Beverage, Conservation and Education and being Asia’s first Theme Park to use only sustainably sourced seafood.
With global capture and aquaculture production of fish and other aquatic animals continuing to rise at an alarming rate, scientists have predicted that seafood will no longer be available by 2048 if the current trend remains unchanged. As an advocate of conservation, all of the seven restaurants it operates, including its bakery, began using only sustainably sourced seafood in its seafood dishes. This aims to inspire the community to help protect the marine ecosystem and ensure a sustainable food supply for future generations.
“According to the latest report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO), Hong Kong ranks second in seafood consumption per capita among Asian regions and countries. The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) also revealed that local capture fisheries have been declining for several decades – from an average of 120,000 tons per year in the 1980’s to around 50,000 tons recently – they can only meet around 30% of local demand. Imports from overseas have been needed to fill the big gap. At the same time, global capture and aquaculture production of fish and other aquatic animals continue to rise at a rate that is severely depleting marine resources. If this situation continues, it has been forecast that seafood will no longer be available by 2048. So we cannot afford to delay our conservation efforts.” Timothy Ng, Deputy Director of the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong (OPCFHK), said.
“WWF-Hong Kong has produced a Sustainable Seafood Guide by assessing the different wild-caught and farmed seafood species according to their origins, fishing/farming methods, status of wild population/fry sources, bycatch, fisheries/aquaculture management and information from the Marine Stewardship Council. The aim is to promote well-managed fisheries and to dissuade the public from consuming specific species from various origins. Many of the species to be avoided are popular among Hong Kong people. They include Bombay duck and shrimp caught by bottom trawling, which involves dragging heavy nets over the seabed. As their mesh size is small, the nets are extremely destructive to seabed communities, including juvenile Dominofish, sponges, sea-fans, and soft corals. Hong Kong grouper, a common dish in local banquets in the past and the most expensive member of the grouper family, is another one to avoid. The population of this species in China has dropped by 90% over past decades, and it is now on the Red List of Threatened Species published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).”
Ocean Park cares about the marine ecosystem, and it has set clear objectives for promoting sustainable seafood to its more than seven million guests each year, as well as the public, letting them know about the severe threats facing marine resources. OPCFHK conducted a sustainable seafood pledge campaign at the Park’s Grand Aquarium in April, July, August and December 2011, and April 2012. More than 42,000 guests pledged not to consume shark (fins), blue fin tuna and Napoleon wrasse, three iconic endangered species.