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HK Fish Farmers and Bird Biologists Reach Truce

HONG KONG - Bird biologists are offering a green truce to fish farmers to end years of antagonism over stocks stolen by migratory birds.

The World Wide Fund for Nature has finished its first pilot eco- fish farming scheme, launched in 2007, which offers a HK$400,000 grant to fishpond farmers who use chemical-free, genetically unmodified fish breeding methods, reports TheStandard.

The news report says that participants agree to allow migratory birds, heading to the Mai Po Nature Reserve, to feed from fishponds surrounding the reserve, and to drain their ponds in winter to allow the pond bed to absorb more nutrients and allow birds to feed off crustaceans in the mud.

Stopping short of calling the programmeme all-organic fish farming because the SAR lacks an organic foods framework and international certification would be costly, WWF Hong Kong Mai Po reserve officer Tobi Lau Shiu-keung said the programmeme would help the struggling fish industry stay competitive and perform an important wildlife conservation role.

According to Hong Kong New Territories Fish Culture Association chairman Lai Loi-chau, who loaned one of his 18 fish ponds for the pilot test, going all-natural may be the only move left after a flood of freshwater fish from the mainland gutted the local market.

the Fish Site Editor

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