A local green group has called for the introduction of a sustainable fishing policy in the government's budget due to be announced on February 22. In a letter to Financial Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen, chief executive of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Hong Kong Eric Bohm has expressed disappointment that the minister had no time to listen to their views on the establishment of sustainable fisheries practices. The letter stresses that 'this is an issue of vital importance not only from the perspective of maintaining the value of a natural asset that belongs to all the people of Hong Kong, but also for the livelihoods of the Hong Kong fishing community'. 'It is becoming increasingly obvious to us that the government seems to hope the problem will just go away', the letter says. WWF Hong Kong has urged the government to set up no-take zones (NTZs) off Tolo Harbour, Port Shelter and marine parks. It believes the beautiful waters of northeast Hong Kong have tremendous tourism potential and may generate an income far greater than the current value based on small and declining fish catches. The group points out that this potential tourism windfall can only be 'unlocked' if the rich and diverse marine life in those waters can be restored. The designation of NTZs is crucial in this respect, they say. WWF Hong Kong says local waters are being destroyed by the government's unsustainable fisheries policy. There is already evidence of irreversible damage to the eco-system, they warn. They suggest that the government compensate fishermen for losses incurred by the setting up of NTZs. The group believes this is a good investment compared to the Wetland Park - which is expected to cost $520 million besides the $60 million annual operational expenditure - and redevelopment plans for Ocean Park, estimated at about $1.4 billion. But the environmentalists have not stated clearly the estimated cost of such a compensation scheme. Have you joined any environmental activities recently? Young Post invites you to share your experiences with other readers. Send 250-350 words in English and photos to email@example.com . Please include your name, age, school and contact details.