Produce from accredited fish farms will be tested before going on sale through the Fish Market Organisation's network with labels for consumers' easy identification.
The Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department said the scheme, which opened to applications today, is voluntary and consists of mainly three parts:
* setting up a registration system for fish farms to ensure their hygiene and management are up to standard;
* setting up a registration and quality assurance system for fish fry to better trace their source and ensure food safety;
* building a brand name and marketing for products from accredited fish farms.
Good aquaculture practices urged
Fish farmers joining the scheme must adopt good aquaculture practices and their farms must meet prescribed hygiene standards. The department will inspect accredited fish farms once every two months to conduct tests on pond water and fish, and offer technical support.
Fish farms are not allowed to use drugs or additives to feed fish without instructions from the department or registered vets.
The department said so far about 30 fish farmers have expressed interest in the scheme, and it expects the first batch of products from accredited fish farms will be available for sale six months on.
Hong Kong New Territories Fish Culture Association Chairman Lai Loy-chau said brand building for local fish products will boost consumers' confidence. He expected the price for products from accredited fish farms will rise 10% to 20%.