Hong Kong to be hooked by game fishing

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 April, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 April, 1994, 12:00am

GAME fishing is set to receive a major boost in Hong Kong when the territory host the 16th Asian Game Fishing Federation tournament next month sponsored by world renowned watchmakers Omega.

Twelve teams from five countries around Asia - Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand - plus the territory, will be competing in the three-day event from May 17-21.

Each team will consist of four to six anglers. They will fish in the South China Sea off Hong Kong.

Qualified species will be International Game Fishing Association (IGFA) recognised game fish only and points will be awarded for tag and release or capture. The minimum qualifying weight for capture is two-and-a-half kilogrammes.

''It will be the first time Hong Kong has hosted such an event and it is a rare opportunity for anglers from all over Asia to compete against each other in a friendly yet competitive atmosphere,'' said Joseph Chan, chairman of the organising committee.

''Game fishing is extremely popular throughout the world and becoming increasingly more so in Asia. We make a special effort to tag and release all fish which do not qualify for capture in an effort to protect the species,'' he added.

Chan said the South China Sea offers a wide range of species.

''I once almost caught a 150-pound billfish in the South China Sea. I spent three and a half hours fighting it and it just got away. It goes to prove that there is big game fish out there,'' said Chan.

Omega will present a titanium and 18 carat pink gold Seamaster Chrono-diver watch, valued at HK$33,080 for a charity raffle at a prize giving dinner on May 21.

Part of the proceeds from the raffle will go to the Pacific Ocean Research Foundation, a charity organisation based in Hawaii which does research on billfish and tuna.