- Why sustainable seafood?
- For industry
- For consumers
In 2019, CFS found 15 out of 70 freshwater fish samples testing positive for malachite green.
Malachite green is an industrial dye used by some fish farms to treat fish diseases. It is both carcinogenic and genotoxic.
Malachite green in all seafood is banned.
CFS found malachite green in frozen Sabah garoupa (marketed as Brown-marbled grouper). Among imported freshwater fish, Chinese perch (Siniperca sp.) contained the highest level of malachite green of 6.9mg/kg.
To avoid malachite green, the government advises us to buy good fish from reputable sources and do not buy fish from illegal hawkers
Source: Cap. 132AF Harmful Substances in Food Regulations,
Malachite Green found in Chinese Perch,
Malachite Green found in Sabah Garoupa
Ciguatera poisoning has been intermittently reported in Hong Kong over the last two decades.
It’s caused by the ciguatera toxin found in micro-organisms in the oceans and can occur in coral reef fish sourced from the tropical and subtropical Pacific. The toxin cannot be removed by cooking. It can affect nerve and muscular functions, causing low blood pressure, slow heart rate, respiratory difficulties, or even paralysis in extreme cases.
In Hong Kong, ciguatoxins are most commonly found in live reef fish, such as Squaretail coral grouper, Lyretail, Brown-marbled grouper, Leopard coral grouper, Humphead wrasse, Two-spot red snapper, Moray eels.
Source: Ciguatera Food Poisoning
To make sure our seafood is legal and safe for consumption, we need proper seafood labelling.
Mislabeling is not uncommon in the seafood industry –
examples in Hong Kong include the Red sea bream sashimi (Pagrus major) mislabeled as Yellowback seabream (Dentex spp.) and Squaretail coralgrouper (Plectropomus areolatus) mislabeled as Leopard coral trout (Plectropomus leopardus), which can sell for a doubled price.
Hong Kong imports seafood from between 150 – 170 territories. Much of this seafood does not have even basic labelling as to the species, origin, and production method, and much is not even legally produced.
Unlike meat products, neither an import license nor a health certificate (from the country of origin) is required for seafood imported into Hong Kong.
Source: Guide to Application for Import Licence for Frozen Meat, Chilled Meat, Frozen Poultry and Chilled Poultry,
Guide to Import of Marine Products into HK
Reduce the amount, frequency, and variety of seafood consumption
Choose sustainably caught or farmed seafood