The local aquaculture industry is facing two major challenges: competition with imported aquatic food products and the lack of consumer confidence in fish and seafood. Due to the high production costs locally, competition with imported aquatic food products by price is impossible. Improving the quality of locally produced aquaculture products, together with a product quality assurance system, is a promising way for local farms to compete with imported goods instead. With heightened public awareness of food safety, quality-assured aquaculture products can hopefully regain consumer confidence. In this regard, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) have formulated the Accredited Fish Farm Scheme to promote the sustainable development of the local aquaculture industry.
The Accredited Fish Farm Scheme
has been launched to assist local aquaculturists to increase the competitiveness of their aquaculture products and to provide quality and safe aquaculture products to the public. Its specific aims are as follows:
1. To enhance the quality of local aquaculture products by introducing "Good Aquaculture Practices" to local aquatic farms;
2. To increase the transparency of production process by standardization of processes in order to gain consumer confidence in local aquaculture products;
3. To highlight the safety of local aquaculture products by introducing pre-marketing product tests; and
4. To make local aquaculture products stand out by branding.
Therefore, the fish farm's aquatic products are of high quality and safe; customers can eat them with peace of mind. The Fish Marketing Organization (FMO)
is under the Accredited Fish Farm Scheme by the AFCD, providing citizens with fresh, high-quality fish.
FMO was first established under the Defence Regulations in 1945 to assist in the post-war rehabilitation of the fishing fleet and to provide facilities for the orderly and efficient marketing of marine fish, whereby the industry could be developed and the socio-economic status of the fishing community be improved. Subsequently the Marine Fish (Marketing) Ordinance, Cap. 291, enacted in 1962, provides the legal framework for the establishment and operation of the FMO. The FMO is headed by the Director of Marketing, a position currently held by the Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation. It is a self-financing, non-profit making organization separated from the civil service.