Humphead wrasse is one of Hong Kong people's favourite seafood. But environmentalists have reminded gourmets and fisheries that the endangered species will face extinction unless a sustainable environment is created. Earlier this month, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) jointly organised a three-day workshop with conservation groups and SAR government departments. The workshop was attended by various industry groups involved in the trade of humphead wrasse - the world's largest coral reef fish. Practical methods of making the trade both legal and sustainable were discussed. Participants came from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Papua new Guinea - territories where the humphead wrasse is most traded and is also most popular on dinner tables. They reached a preliminary agreement to develop scientific guidelines for the use of humphead wrasse as a sustainable resource and to promote regional co-operation and awareness among the fishing industry and consumers. WWF described the talks as a great leap forward in efforts to effectively control the international trade in the coral reef fish. 'Hong Kong and China are taking the positive initiative to work closely with the source countries in the region to ensure the sustainable trade in humphead wrasse,' said Andy Cornish of WWF Hong Kong. A distinctive electric blue colour with large protruding lips, the humphead wrasse is mainly found on coral reefs across Southeast Asia, the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean. The species can grow to over two metres long, weigh up to 190 kilograms and live for more than 30 years. But their life is often cut short by over-fishing, sometimes illegal, as they are sold to the luxury live fish trade in Hong Kong and China for up to more than $1,000 per kilogram. In areas where the species is commercially exploited, scientific studies have shown populations are falling, sometimes by as much as 90 per cent. 'Results at this meeting will ensure that all trade is carried out at sustainable levels and does not threaten the survival of the humphead wrasse,' said Yvonne Sadovy of the world conservation organisation IUCN.