Fishing moratorium may be abandoned

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 February, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 February, 2005, 12:00am

The proposed summer fishing moratorium might be abandoned to win support from fishermen for a licensing system.

The possibility was raised amid mixed reaction by fishing groups to regulations proposed late last year by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department.

Under the moratorium, trawlers and purse seiners would be barred from fishing in June and July in all Hong Kong waters.

Most of the fishing groups the department had consulted generally supported a licensing system, senior fisheries officer Patsy Wong Pat-shun said yesterday. But they had reservations about the moratorium and a proposal to ban trawling in Tolo Harbour and Port Shelter, coupled with the setting up of two no-take zones in which all fishing would be prohibited.

'The most important goal is to set up a licensing system through which we can have a clearer picture of how many fishing boats and what types there are in Hong Kong,' Dr Wong said.

The licensing system was the foundation on which further fishing regulations would be introduced, she said.