Survey of 20,000 Hong Kong food outlets finds lack of sustainable seafood sourcing

Published on
January 31, 2022
A recent survey found conducted by sustainability campaign group Choose Right Today has found only a small number of retail and foodservice establishments in Hong Kong are sourcing the seafood they sell from fisheries known to be sustainable.

A recent survey conducted by sustainability campaign group Choose Right Today has found only a small number of retail and foodservice establishments in Hong Kong are sourcing the seafood they sell from fisheries known to be sustainable.

The survey of over 20,000 food outlets showed that in Hong Kong – the world’s second-largest consumer of seafood per capita – only 7 percent of retail and foodservice establishments surveyed could claim at least one of their seafood items was sustainable, and just 10 percent could detail the origin of the seafood on their menus.

In response, Choose Right Today has launched a new website to provide a one-stop information platform for sustainable seafood. Launched in the run up to Chinese New Year beginning 1 February, the website features a directory of about 1,500 restaurants and 40 online stores that sell sustainably-sourced seafood.

Chinese New Year is marked by the consumption of certain fish species as a mark of good fortune and prosperity, according to Choose Right Today Sustainable Seafood Program Coordinator Renee Lam.

“There are few current policies in Hong Kong that ensure sustainability of the seafood we eat,” Lam said. “Choose Right Today stresses that in order to avoid a future without seafood, consumers must take responsibility for being a part of the solution, not the problem and making the conscious transition towards sustainable seafood.”

The new website provides guidance on sustainable seafood labels, threatened species seen in local wet markets, and seafood species to avoid. The site also offers education on the sustainability challenges faced by the seafood industry and resources to help seafood restaurant operators and traders make responsible sourcing decisions.

“Many, such as species of red groupers and sea cucumbers, have declined in recent years, possibly due to increasing demand and overfishing exacerbated by climate change. Other iconic species such as the Hong Kong grouper and squaretail coral grouper are threatened, according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species,” Choose Right Today, which is funded by the ADM Capital Foundation, said in a statement.

Photo courtesy of Stan Shea/Choose Right Today

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