Letters | South China Morning Post
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Letters

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 November, 2011, 12:00am
 

Sustainable fishing is what matters

Proposed European Union shark fishing regulations will require sharks to be landed with fins on ('Europe plans blanket ban on shark finning', November 22).

The EU has a tradition and culture of eating shark meat and hosts the world's largest, targeted, shark fishery. The fins, a by-product, are one of the main sources of shark fin imported into Asia, where they are a traditional cuisine.

Our organisation, the Marine Products Association, totally supports the new EU initiative. It will improve species-specific landing data for sharks, which will help fisheries assessment and management. It is an important step towards achieving sustainable fisheries.

'Sustainability' is the common ground between competing conservation and fishery values for sharks. WWF has rightly congratulated Canada for its recent sustainability certification for a dogfish (shark) fishery.

Ongoing claims are made by among others Ran Elfassy, of Shark Rescue, that shark conservation can only be achieved if Chinese people abandon their culture of eating shark fin ('Signs tide is turning on shark fin', November 25), regardless of whether it is produced from a sustainable fishery or not. This view represents a dogma rather than a conclusion based on fisheries science.

There is no reason for Chinese people in isolation to give up eating shark. But there are good reasons for all people who eat shark, including Chinese, to better understand the value of achieving sustainability in all fisheries, including sharks.

Charlie Lim, chairman, conservation and management committee, Marine Products Association

Shark fin ban appeal not anti-Chinese

I refer to the report ('Wholesalers hit back in row over shark fins', November 28) and am deeply saddened that one supplier should feel it is an attack by Westerners on the Chinese to ban shark fins.

This has nothing to do with an attack on Chinese customs or traditions.

It is a basic understanding that man has so decimated this planet that we must all take steps to try and make sacrifices, when necessary, to protect what is left of the world's resources.

Sadly, throughout history, businesses have suffered from changes in the law. A classic example in Hong Kong is the ban on ivory; in Britain it was the change in quarantine laws. Both had to be carried out.

While I support, in the immediate future, some form of help from the governments in question, it must also be up to those involved in the trade to look to the future.

No one can say the campaign against eating shark fins is new; it has been going on as long as I can remember.

What about tigers and rhinoceroses? These are only two more of nature's gifts to the planet that will soon be extinct if no effort is made to save them, and then what?

As to ecology or cruelty, let me make it clear that the fight to stop the production of foie gras and veal in inhumane conditions, to name just two foods, is just as important, as is the massacre of so many life forms for additional farmland.

If our children or children's children are to have anything left, we must take the steps to ensure this.

Charlie Garnett, Sheung Wan

Switch name to Bruce Lee airport

I refer to your editorial ('A new airport name? It won't fly', November 28), in which you discuss a suggestion that Hong Kong's airport be renamed Sun Yat-sen International Airport.

This is a politically correct recommendation, but is near-sighted as, generally, the outside world does not readily identify Sun Yat-sen with Hong Kong.

It could be more readily labelled the Chris Patten International Airport, but obviously that would be a non- starter.

There is only one person who has achieved the necessary worldwide recognition to be branded together with our international airport - thus the Hong Kong Bruce Lee International Airport.

Liverpool has the John Lennon Airport, so why not?

Bruce Lee's iconic status and connection to Hong Kong is recognised the world over, but he has never been properly honoured in his 'hometown'.

Although he was born in San Francisco, he was brought up here and his film career was based mainly here.

Jack Spade, Tsim Sha Tsui

Consultation with disabled so important

Disabled people in Hong Kong still suffer from discrimination.

Given that we live in an international and modern city, this kind of discrimination should no longer exist.

It is a problem that needs to be addressed.

Year after year, I hear people advocating equal treatment for all citizens, whatever their disability - that they should have equal rights in their academic studies and in the workplace. And even though these calls come from many sources, nothing appears to get done.

All citizens i have to play their part, no matter how small, to achieve wider integration within the community.

I have some suggestions that I feel could deal effectively with this problem.

The key to achieving a harmonious and cohesive society is a collective change of mindset.

Hongkongers need to recognise the major needs of the disabled.

The government should be attempting to improve the channels of communication.

It needs to set up meetings between disabled groups and the relevant authorities to find out what facilities are lacking in the city.

Often substantial sums are spent creating facilities that are thought to be suitable, but it has been done without adequate consultation.

With good communication, it will be possible to find out what is needed and provide it.

As I say, we can all help to create a society where discrimination no longer exists.

Ringo Chan Ka-chun, Kwai Chung

All citizens must keep beaches clean

On a recent visit to the beautiful beach at Shek O, I was disappointed to see so much refuse.

I wish Hong Kong citizens would try harder to keep our beaches clean.

They should appreciate that the beaches are a natural treasure and should be treated with respect.

The government should implement stricter regulations to protect these sites.

Also, I noticed an elderly woman at the beach with a stall selling various items such as umbrellas. I am sure that she must struggle to make a living.

The government should help old people who are trying to earn a living at these stalls so they can sell their products to tourists.

Yeung Cheuk-lai, Hung Hom

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