The era of unregulated trade may be ending for seafood wholesalers on Aberdeen's promenade This week's cholera scare has prompted the government to consider ways it can speed up its management takeover of the wholesale fish market at Aberdeen promenade. The promenade's daily fish trade amounts to millions of dollars and has gone unregulated for years. In all, there are 18 vendors in the area. A spokeswoman for the Health, Welfare and Food Bureau said: 'What we are doing is exploring the feasibility of speeding up the process whereby the Fish Marketing Organisation will assume the management responsibility of the wholesale activities at the Aberdeen promenade.' The organisation is run by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. On Wednesday the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) ordered the closure of one stall selling live fish in the public car park at Aberdeen promenade following the discovery of vibrio cholerae bacteria in a water sample taken from its fish tank. It is Hong Kong's third discovery this year of the bacteria, which can cause a cholera outbreak in humans. Samples of the same cholera strain were previously found at a seafood stall in To Kwa Wan, and at Chi Fu Fa Yuen's ParknShop seafood outlet in Pokfulam in August. Both stalls have been charged. The latest case is likely to lead to prosecution, a department spokesman said. Asked why the promenade was not regulated, the health bureau spokeswoman said it had been allowed to exist 'for historical reasons'. 'About 40 per cent of the fish consumed in Hong Kong comes from this area,' she said. The legislator for the medical sector, Lo Wing-lok, said traders had been occupying government land without permission for such a long time that it would not be easy for the government to evict them. 'The government is now going to lease the land to the Fish Marketing Organisation so that it will take over the management of the wholesale market. By so doing there will be a legal basis for the licensing of the wholesalers.' He said the arrangement would lead to better management and ensure higher hygiene standards. The bureau is also reviewing existing legislative provisions to improve the present regulatory framework for the wholesale of live fish, the spokeswoman said. Current laws target fish retailers only. Dr Lo hoped the government would also amend the laws to regulate the supply of seawater. FEHD inspectors yesterday returned to the Aberdeen promenade to collect samples from fish water tanks in the 17 remaining stalls. Test results will take about six to seven days. A 23-year-old woman and two boys, aged six and 13, were referred for blood checks this weekend. A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said they had recovered from fevers late last month. They were sent for checks because they are neighbours of a Yuen Long woman who is in a critical condition with Japanese encephalitis, which is carried by mosquitoes. She remains in the intensive care unit of Tuen Mun Hospital.