Education

Oysters farms in Sai Kung

By CCH

It’s a dream yes, but is it possible??The idea of oyster farms in Hebe Haven and Port Shelter, Sai Kung. Manned by local people and the rise of indigenous farming again.

Hong Kong people love seafood. They really love oysters as one can see by the proliferation of small oyster eateries in addition to the usual five-star hotels. All are brought in from overseas. Hong Kong used to have its own oyster industry. For 700 years, oysters were farmed near Lau Fau Shan in the north west of Hong Kong, when it was a perfect site. In fact, the oyster species cultivated in Lau Fau Shan was known as Crassostrea hongkongensis, which is named after the city itself.

Today, although there is still some farming, in general it has gone through a gradual decline since 1980’s, partly due to climate change, ocean acidification and deterioration of local water quality, and partly due to stronger competition of foreign oysters in the local market in recent years.

Sai Kung was a very fishing village three centuries ago and the residents were mainly "Hakka" people. It also had its own oyster farms going back to the Sung Dynasty (AD 960-1279). Tai Po and the Tolo harbour area was an even more abundant area.

I was impressed to see an old article in the SCMP from almost a year ago where a local business man is trying to revive or see the vitality of reviving the pearl oyster business (Pearl Farming in HK ) I admire him But what about oysters to eat.

I actually visited an old oyster growing area near my home in Pak Sha Wan and spoke with a local resident Russel who actually offers fishing opportunities for weekend visitors. His answer to the prospect, ‘Forget it, the waters are just too dirty’. Such a shame

So, why cant we start to clean up the waters. Take care of them, Bring back the life to the seas. What will make us change humans change our attitudes. The immensity of the pollution in our seas was brought to us a week ago when Victor Vescovo piloted his submarine to 10,927 meters at the bottom of the Marian Trench. And what did he find? Living creatures and……a plastic bag.

CCH 20.05.2019

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