Under the accredited fish farm scheme, participating farms need to meet a set of good aquaculture practices and hygiene standards, and to follow a predefined management regime. The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) will administer the accredited fish farm scheme; carry out farm inspections and provide necessary technical support. Regular monitoring will be conducted throughout the culture period. Before marketing of fish, quality assurance tests will be performed and products with satisfactory results can be marketed under the unique brand name of the scheme.
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.
To join the accredited fish farm scheme, fish farms must first meet a series of culture conditions and management standards before they are given the status of "registered farm". As to culture conditions and management practices, fish farmers may refer to the series of booklets on Good Aquaculture Practices published by AFCD. The basic management requirements include:
Not all the fish produced from a "registered farm" can be marketed under the brand name of "Accredited Fish farm". Only the fish registered at the beginning of their culture cycle, and passed all the quality assurance (QA) tests before marketing can be marketed under the new brand name.
Advisory letters will be issued to "registered farms" with adverse reports or fish products failing any of the QA tests during inspections, and investigations will be carried out and advice given to the farmers concerned. A second inspection or re-examination of fish will be conducted in 14 days.
AFCD and FMO will establish a brand name of "Accredited Fish Farm" for the quality assured aquaculture products from "registered farms" to highlight the quality and safety of local aquaculture products. FMO will identify buyers through its trading network to market aquaculture products under the "Accredited Fish Farm" brand name. AFCD in conjunction with FMO will organize publicity events and participate in exhibitions and trade shows to promote the "Accredited Fish Farm Scheme" and the new brand name.