Transcript of remarks by CS and DAFC (with photos/video)

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, and the Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation, Mr Alan Wong, at a media session at Kwun Tong Public Pier following their inspection of Chi Ma Wan today (August 8):

Reporter: What kind of steps are you taking to find out where responsibility lies, especially in terms of compensation possibly being paid ...?

Chief Secretary for Administration: I want to stress that over this incident we will certainly follow very vigilantly who is responsible and whether any remedial measures have been taken. But at the moment it is a bit premature for me to report to you because the Department of Justice together with the Marine Department are still discussing the matter and tracing the whole incident and looking at various parties involved. But as and when we are in a position to say so, we will definitely let you know because, as I said on Monday, over incidents where there is a strong public concern, I think it is only right the Government should be as concerned as possible and share the information with the community. That's something that we will bear in mind and we will continue to do so.

Reporter: How much is going to compensation?

Chief Secretary for Administration: It's too early to say that.

Reporter: And what other support services will be given apart from monetary compensation?

Chief Secretary for Administration: Well, maybe I can invite the Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation to say a few words. We have always been providing support and assistance to Hong Kong's mariculturists. Over this particular incident, we will liaise very closely with them in the next few months because apparently the effect might not be immediately felt about the swallowing of these plastic pellets by the fish, so the whole situation needs to be closely monitored. But if you want a bit more detail, maybe Alan could chip in.

Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation: For mariculturists, they operate under licences issued by my department, and we monitor their production and their livelihood very carefully, so in the past week, since we are aware of the problems faced by some of the mariculturists, we almost daily go to their places and see what happened. We also help them to remove some of the pellets. We will monitor the health of the fish which they suspect to be affected by swallowing, for example, some of these pellets, and up to this moment we have not observed any abnormal increase in mortality rates, and we will continue to monitor in the next few weeks to see the impact of this incident on some of the mariculturists.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Issued at HKT 18:06