WWF cannot facilitate these important changes without you! Your support will allow us to develop a stronger voice that will help us drive change in Hong Kong’s supermarket sector. We will make sure that your voice is heard!

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You’re at a supermarket buying some seafood. But imagine these scenarios: after you purchase it, you find out that the seafood you bought isn’t what you paid for. Or you find out that you actually purchased a threatened species, or seafood that is associated with slavery issues. Each of these scenarios is disturbing, but also quite possible.

Here in Hong Kong, there are currently no legal requirements in place requiring seafood products to include information on the label about the species (scientific name), specific country of origin or production method (even simple information lie describing whether the product is wild caught or farmed). This makes it hard for consumers to know whether the seafood they purchase is reliable, safe and sustainable.

Why does this matter?

In October 2016, WWF-Hong Kong announced the results of an investigation called Seafood Supply Chain Risk in Hong Kong Supermarkets1 which revealed how Hong Kong supermarket groups are selling globally threatened species, products associated with alleged slavery and products incurring a range of environmental, social and legal risks. In December 2016, WWF released the results of another investigation, this time into mislabelled seafood products being sold in major supermarket groups in Hong Kong.

The provision of appropriate labelling which lists correct and detailed information regarding the species, country of origin and production method on seafood products is critical. If this information is not provided, there is simply no way that consumers can determine if seafood products are sustainable or be able to know with certainty that they are not consuming globally threatened species2.

Worse still, the lack of such information or the inappropriate labelling of seafood could cheat consumers into paying a higher price for a wrongly-labelled lower-value species, and conceal harmful practices like illegal fishing or poorly-regulated aquaculture3. Labels that give consumers incorrect information can even threaten human health, such as the 2007 case where oil fish was being sold as cod by a major Hong Kong supermarket chain4. In addition the provision of accurate information, such as the name of the farm where the seafood is sourced, also facilitates an accurate and effective recall of seafood that has been deemed unfit for human consumption, such as the recent case of hairy crabs being recalled in Hong Kong5.

How can you help?

As consumers, we need to be able to make informed choices – for the sake of environmental sustainability, food safety and to be sure that we’re getting what we pay for. Hong Kong supermarkets need to put in place robust sustainable seafood procurement policies and improve their selling practices to address these issues as a matter of urgency.

Take part in this opinion poll and tell us your views. Join us to urge Hong Kong’s supermarket groups to change their current seafood sourcing and selling practices and provide more sustainable seafood today!