Richard Ekkebus from Mandarin Oriental Landmark Hotel sources sustainable fish from The Fish Marketing Organization

At a time when the world’s seas are being overfished, fish farms are one way to reduce dependence on wild fish stocks. Hong Kong especially needs sustainable aquaculture to help meet our insatiable appetite for fresh seafood. 

Leading the way is Food Made Good HK member, The Fish Marketing Organization (FMO) which was launched to increase the competitiveness of local aquaculture. FMO actively promotes the Accredited Fish Farm Scheme (AFFS) that encourages best practices in local fish farms. To learn more, please check out
this
video.

AFFS Labelling, a guarantee of quality

Dominic Brettell from FMO explained more: “Launched in 2005 by the Agricultural Fisheries and Conservation Department, AFFS labelling has three objectives: Local Production – ensuring that products from fish farms are produced here in Hong Kong. Sustainability – by purchasing these products which have short supply chains, consumers can reduce their carbon footprints. Food Quality & Safety – because products with this label have passed pre-market quality tests, consumers know that what they’re purchasing is safe to eat and they’re also helping protect local jobs.”

Dominic added: “I want businesses to keep an open mind when purchasing and sourcing their seafood products. And if you don’t know where to start your sustainability journey, AFFS is a great first step.”

Henry Yip and Dominic Brettell (3rd and 2nd from right) from AFFS/FMO, and Richard Ekkebus from Mandarin Oriental Landmark Hotel with Food Made Good HK team members at the Aberdeen processing centre

Sai Kung Fish Farm is proud to have AFFS Certification

Aqua Millenium, a fish farm located in Sai Kung, is proud of its AFFS certification.  “We were the first lobster farm in Hong Kong to be accredited by AFFS. Every day, our team ensures the health of the fish and lobsters, and we also monitor the water quality and farming environment. This guarantees the quality and uniqueness of our products.” said Monique Lam from Aqua Millenium

Monique Lam from Aqua Millenium

Local Food Businesses Love these Labels

Restaurants and supermarkets also welcome AFFS labelling as it provides transparency and a guarantee that fish have been farmed safely and sustainably. Richard Ekkebus, Director of Culinary Operations and F&B at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental and Food Made Good HK’s new President, is a big supporter. 

“This labelling that we use in Hong Kong encourages best practices and we’re very comfortable serving AFFS-accredited seafood on our menu. Sourcing from seafood farms that offer a wide variety of exceptional seafood, farmed to the highest standard, enables us to reduce our carbon footprint, plus support local businesses at the same time.” 

Richard also said, “Relationships are very important. I frequently visit the Aberdeen fish market and know the people there. This ensures that I have full transparency across the supply chain so we fully understand where it is farmed, how it was farmed, and how it was transported to us.”

A delicious dish featuring local Pompano by Richard Ekkebus 

A Global Problem that Needs Urgent Action

Considering the wider problem of unsustainable fishing, Heidi Yu Spurrell, CEO at Food Made Good HK, said, “Today, around 90 percent of global fisheries are either fully or over-exploited. We really need to address these challenges by looking at the longevity and viability of fisheries. If we want to keep consuming delicious seafood, we must start thinking long term. One way to do this is to source locally and seasonally, and diversify your menu. Speaking to suppliers directly and asking the right questions can help you understand the traceability of the seafood catch process.” 

How FMO supports the city’s fishing sector

Issuing certificates of compliance for aquatic products is just one of many services provided by FMO, which is a non-profit body under the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. Committed to local sustainability, FMO offers all-around support to the local fishing industry and fisheries trade sector to maintain a steady supply of marine fish to local consumers at strategic locations.

Through wholesaling and direct selling, FMO supplies premium local fish to restaurants and supermarkets, and sometimes imports fish to fill any supply gaps. It also supplies fresh seawater to wholesale markets to ensure their operations run smoothly. FMO uses any surplus capital to provide low-interest loans, training grants and scholarships to fishermen and their families to support the local fishing industry.

Make contact and download the app

The Fish Marketing Organization is eager to share the benefits of local seafood with new partners in Hong Kong. For more information and to partner up, please contact [email protected]mo.org.hk and visit https://www.fmo.org.hk/index

Local Fresh, a useful app from The Fish/Vegetable Marketing Organizations (F/VMO), is now available on both Android and iOS devices,  Consumers can use it to directly order safe, high-quality fresh fish and produce. The app also provides information on the provenance of AFFS products. By scanning the QR code, 100% traceability and authenticity are guaranteed. 

RELATED: More recently Covid has placed a huge amount of stress on international supply chains. Richard Ekkebus speaks to CNN on the subject of seafood supply.