Hong Kong – Joint operation against improper use of bright light for fishing and illegal fishing activities (with photos)

Joint operation against improper use of bright light for fishing and illegal fishing activities (with photos)


     The Marine Department (MD) together with the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) conducted a joint operation against the improper use of bright light for fishing and illegal fishing activities in the southern waters of Hong Kong last night (August 10).
     During the operation, two vessels were inspected and they were suspected to have used bright light improperly for fishing, while no vessel was found to be engaged in illegal fishing. The MD will further investigate the cases and gather evidence for prosecution.
     A spokesman for the MD reminded the public that under the Shipping and Port Control Regulations (Cap. 313A), vessels are allowed to use bright light for fishing in the areas where bright light fishing is permitted. However, the use of bright light on any vessel for the purpose of fishing or attracting fish in Hong Kong waters shall comply with the requirements of Cap. 313A and the Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) (General) Regulation (Cap. 548F), i.e. a bright light shall be so constructed, shaded, installed and used that no light emitted from it shall be visible, whether directly or by reflection from any source other than sea surface, above a horizontal plane passing through the lowest edge of the light source. A person who contravenes the related legislation commits an offence and is liable to a fine of $5,000 upon conviction.
     In addition, under the Fisheries Protection Ordinance (Cap. 171), only a vessel registered under the Fisheries Protection Ordinance can be used for fishing in Hong Kong waters and only the fishing methods listed on its Certificate of Local Fishing Vessel Registration can be employed for fishing by the vessel. Any offender upon conviction is liable to a fine of $100,000 and imprisonment for six months.
     To ensure the order of marine traffic and navigation safety of vessels, in addition to daily patrols and enforcement actions in various districts of Hong Kong waters, the MD also maintains close co-operation with the HKPF and the AFCD from time to time to conduct target-based joint operations, including inspections of suspected improper use of bright light for fishing and illegal fishing activities. From January to July 2023, the MD conducted a total of 21 special operations in areas including the waters of southern Lantau Island, southern Lamma Island and east of Hong Kong. Sixteen fishing vessels were suspected of violating relevant marine legislation. The MD is now taking follow-up actions and will instigate prosecution against these fishing vessels.
     The MD will continue to step up patrols to combat the improper use of bright light for fishing activities so as to ensure safe navigation. The department will also meet with local fishery organisations from time to time to distribute relevant publicity and education materials to the trade. Information on the proper use of bright light for fishing is available on the MD’s website: www.mardep.gov.hk/en/publication/materials/pdf/publf.pdf.

Japan – JCB and Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam launch the BIDV JCB Ultimate Credit Card in Vietnam

JCB International Co., Ltd., (JCBI), the international operations subsidiary of JCB Co., Ltd., Japan’s only international payment brand, and Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), the oldest financial institution in Vietnam, announced the launch of the BIDV JCB Ultimate Credit Card in Vietnam.

On the occasion of BIDV’s 66th anniversary, BIDV and JCB launch their first credit card with the Ultimate grade which is the JCB’s highest grade. The artwork design of this card is inspired by Mt. Fuji – a sacred symbol of Japan with the rising sun depicted by BIDV’s new logo. This card is exclusively for the BIDV royal customers, who can enjoy special experiences and privileges. Cardholders of the BIDV JCB Ultimate Credit Card have access to JCB’s acceptance network of approximately 43 million merchants worldwide.

With the collaboration of JCB and BIDV, BIDV customers can enjoy numerous attractive features and exclusive benefits for dining out. The cardholders are entitled to up to VND 800,000/month via the BIDV SmartBanking application at the rate of 20% cashback when dining out in Vietnam in the cardholder’s birthday month, 10% cashback when dining out in Vietnam on other months, 15% cashback when experiencing fine dining in Japan and 0.15% cashback for other transactions. In addition, BIDV customers are entitled to a 100% refund of the foreign currency conversion fee (1%) when cardholders make transactions in Japan. The BIDV JCB Ultimate Credit Card also offers premium services in and outside Vietnam such as golf, business lounges, dining, hotels and resorts.

About BIDV

The Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) was established on April 26th 1957 and is the longest established financial institution with the most valuable brand in Vietnam. BIDV is listed in the Top 2000 world’s largest companies; Top 300 world’s largest banks (Brand Finance); Top 10 largest enterprises in Vietnam for 4 consecutive years.

With the mission to deliver the best interests and conveniences to customers, shareholders, employees and society, BIDV is determined to invest in developing the brand comprehensively, professionalizing the corporate governance in line with the bank’s business scale and make BIDV brand international. In the bank’s restructuring plan towards 2020 with vision to 2030, BIDV aims to become a leading financial institution in Southeast Asia, have the best digital platform in Vietnam, and be among Top 100 largest banks in Asia. For more information, please visit www.bidv.com.vn.

About JCB

JCB is a major global payment brand and a leading credit card issuer and acquirer in Japan. JCB launched its card business in Japan in 1961 and began expanding worldwide in 1981. Its acceptance network includes about 43 million merchants around the world. JCB Cards are issued mainly in Asian countries and territories, with more than 154 million cardmembers. As part of its international growth strategy, JCB has formed alliances with hundreds of leading banks and financial institutions globally to increase its merchant coverage and cardmember base. As a comprehensive payment solution provider, JCB commits to providing responsive and high-quality service and products to all customers worldwide. For more information, please visit: www.global.jcb/en/

Ayaka Nakajima
Corporate Communications
Tel: +81-3-5778-8353
E-Mail: jcb-pr@info.jcb.co.jp

Copyright ©2023 JCN Newswire. All rights reserved. A division of Japan Corporate News Network.

Hong Kong – 2023 Mainland-Hong Kong Joint Funding Scheme opens for applications

2023 Mainland-Hong Kong Joint Funding Scheme opens for applications


     The Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) today (May 15) launched the 2023 Mainland-Hong Kong Joint Funding Scheme to invite proposals for applied research and development (R&D) projects jointly conducted by institutions in Hong Kong and the Mainland under three specific themes:
(i) Biotechnology: Chinese medicine-based new medicines, research on medicines for treating rare diseases, regenerative medicines for treating degenerative diseases, tissue stem cells isolation and functions evaluation;
(ii) Artificial Intelligence (AI): Research on the security and privacy of AI systems, brain-inspired intelligence, smart transportation, smart healthcare (including medical robots); and
(iii) New Materials: Optoelectronic materials; third-generation semiconductor technologies, key materials for highly secured, high energy and density fuel cells, research on and application of biomedical materials.
     Applications will be accepted from today until June 30.
     The Scheme aims to support and encourage further R&D collaboration between Hong Kong and the Mainland. Applications must be submitted simultaneously by the Hong Kong and Mainland institutions to the ITC and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) respectively, and the R&D work must be conducted in both places and involve co-operation between the two places. The ITC and MOST will provide funding to the Hong Kong and Mainland applicant organisations respectively, and will monitor project progress according to their own requirements.
     Further information can be obtained on the Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF) website (www.itf.gov.hk/en/mhkjfs). For enquiries, please contact the ITF Secretariat (Tel: 3655 5678; email: enquiry@itf.gov.hk).

Hong Kong – Joint Office for Investigation of Water Seepage Complaints responds to media enquiries

Joint Office for Investigation of Water Seepage Complaints responds to media enquiries


     In relation to media enquiries on a report of water seepage in Cheung Wo Court in Kwun Tong, the Joint Office for Investigation of Water Seepage Complaints (JO) today (May 2) responded as follows:

     Upon receipt of reports of water seepage, staff of the JO would be sent to the complainant’s premises to conduct inspection and investigation. After identifying the source of water seepage, if it falls into the nuisances (such as seepage of wastewater) stipulated in section 12 of the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Cap. 132) (the Ordinance), the JO would issue a Nuisance Notice to the owner(s) of the premises causing the seepage problem. Other cases not involving the nuisances under the Ordinance (such as seepage of rainwater due to structural defects of roofs, external walls or windows, and leakage from dilapidated fresh water mains, etc.) would be referred by the JO to relevant departments for follow-up actions as necessary.

     Regarding the premises concerned, the JO received a complaint of water seepage in June last year. Staff was deployed to the premises for investigation and the moisture content of the location reported was found below 35 per cent. According to the established mechanism of the JO, the case could not be followed up and the complainant was informed of the result in July last year. The JO received in February this year another complaint of suspected external wall water leakage concerning the premises. The staff of the JO had explained to the complainant that seepage of rainwater through the external wall falls out of the remit of the JO. The case was thus referred to the Independent Checking Unit under the Office of the Permanent Secretary for Housing (the Unit) for follow-up.

     Upon receiving the referral case in February this year, the Unit had promptly contacted the complainant and was informed by the complainant that the repair work of the building concerned had been completed, and no follow-up action from the Unit was required.

Hong Kong – Speech by STL at joint luncheon of Marine Department and Hong Kong Shipowners Association (English only)

Speech by STL at joint luncheon of Marine Department and Hong Kong Shipowners Association (English only)


     Following is the speech by the Secretary for Transport and Logistics, Mr Lam Sai-hung, at a joint luncheon organised by the Marine Department and the Hong Kong Shipowners Association today (May 2):
Wellington (Chairman of the Hong Kong Shipowners Association, Mr Wellington Koo), Carol (Director of Marine, Ms Carol Yuen), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
     It gives me great pleasure to address the distinguished audience of the Hong Kong shipping community today. This joint luncheon, organised by the Marine Department and the Hong Kong Shipowners Association, has a long-standing tradition signifying the strong collaboration between the Government and the industry. 
     You may remember the Hong Kong Shipowners Association’s 65th anniversary gala dinner on March 30. Since its establishment in 1957, the Association has grown to represent over 10 per cent of the deadweight tonnage of the world’s merchant fleet. The Association is highly regarded in Hong Kong and worldwide, and is key to Hong Kong’s maritime success.  
     Since its establishment in 1990, the Hong Kong Shipping Registry has risen to the world’s number four today, with a fleet of about 2 400 ships and nearly 127 million gross tonnage. Hong Kong registered ships are among the best performers in the world, with a Port State Control detention rate of 1.4 per cent against the world average of 2.77 per cent in 2022. The establishment of seven Regional Desks across Asia, Europe, Oceania and North America has allowed the Registry to provide more direct support to shipowners abroad. 
     Our country supports, and the Minister of Transport of the Central Government reaffirmed the support to me during my visit to Mainland in mid-April, the consolidation of Hong Kong’s status as an international maritime centre for better integration into the national development course. As a regional transshipment hub with over 1 100 port and maritime companies providing quality maritime services, Hong Kong has served as a springboard for both international and Mainland enterprises.  
     The Government is committed to promoting the development of the maritime industry. We have put in place various tax concessions for our maritime sector, such as marine insurers, ship managers, agents, shipbrokers, ship lessors and ship leasing managers, in order to attract more maritime enterprises to establish their presence in Hong Kong.
     We are actively promoting the development of smart port to strengthen the competitiveness of our port by setting up a port community system to facilitate data sharing among stakeholders. Furthermore, the Hong Kong Shipping Registry is enhancing e-services. The e-certification for Hong Kong ship registration will be launched later this year.
     Hong Kong has been embracing the development of green port and encouraging the shipping industry to adopt more sustainable shipping initiatives.  To encourage the use of clean marine fuel by ocean going vessels, the Government has worked with the industry to make use of the offshore LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminal by two power companies to provide LNG bunkering services in Hong Kong.
     The Government is nurturing talents for the sustainable development of the maritime industry. The Government will launch a Maritime Services Traineeship Scheme this year for young people who aspire to a career in maritime law, and inject $200 million into the Maritime and Aviation Training Fund to support manpower training for home-grown talents.
     As mentioned in the 2023-24 Budget, the Hong Kong Maritime and Port Board and representatives of the maritime industry have formed a task force to map out a comprehensive action plan to nurture our maritime ecosystem and entrench Hong Kong’s position as an international maritime centre.
     Ladies and gentlemen, Hong Kong’s success as an international maritime centre is thanks to the contributions of you all. We have arranged an award presentation session today to pay tribute to our shipowners who have made significant contributions to the Hong Kong Shipping Registry.
     In closing, please allow me to mention our annual flagship event, the Hong Kong Maritime Week, which will be held from November 19 to 25 this year. We will expand its scale and look forward to seeing you in the future. I would like to thank the Marine Department and the Hong Kong Shipowners Association for organising today’s event, and thank you all for your staunch support to Hong Kong maritime industry. Thank you.