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Govt Offers Compensation For Trawl Ban

CHINA - To protect the country's precious marine resources and ecology, trawling in Hong Kong waters will be banned from 31 December, 2012.

The Government has set up an inter-departmental working group (IWG) to handle all matters relating to applications received under the one-off assistance package. Assistance includes an ex-gratia allowance for trawler vessel owners and a one-off grant to local deckhands.

A spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said that from now until 13 January, 2012, affected trawler vessel owners should obtain a booking confirmation letter either in person or by proxy at various Marine Offices or wholesale fish market liaison offices in Aberdeen, Tuen Mun, Shau Kei Wan, Cheung Chau, Tai Po and Sai Kung in accordance with the date, time and venues specified in the Annex.

The applicant must present the original copy or a photocopy of the following trawler-related documents when obtaining the booking confirmation letter:

  • Certificate of ownership, a valid operating licence and certificate of survey issued by the Marine Department;
  • Guangdong/Hong Kong/Macau Mobile Fishing Vessel Registration Book and fishing permits issued by the Mainland authorities (if applicable).
The AFCD has explained the relevant arrangement to the affected trawler vessel owners through different channels including briefings, posters, leaflets and fishermen organisations. Information has also been uploaded onto the AFCD website: www.afcd.gov.hk.

From 7 December, 2011 to 29 February, 2012, the IWG will handle registration for trawler vessel owners who have obtained a booking confirmation letter and the local deckhands they employed in the application of the ex-gratia allowance and one-off grant to local deckhands. Applicants must visit the designated venues at the chosen date and time slot as stated in their booking confirmation letters.

A new commitment of HK$1,726.8 million was approved by the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council on 10 June to provide a one-off assistance package to eligible trawler vessel owners, the local deckhands they employed and fish collector owners, as well as to implement measures to support marine conservation and help replenish fisheries resources.

Lucy Towers

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