In its latest seafood guide unveiled on Tuesday, WWF-Hong Kong called on people to avoid eating Boston lobster.
The group said this is to encourage sustainable consumption because the people of Hong Kong have consumed too much seafood already.
WWF-Hong Kong has classified different seafood items into three categories: “Green-Recommended”, “Yellow-Think Twice” and “Red-Avoid”.
This year, Boston lobster is in the "Red-Avoid" category – joining items such as shark fin and eels – having appeared in the “Green-Recommended” previously.
The group's conservation officer Michelle Wong said even though Boston lobster isn't facing extinction, catching it will threaten the natural habitat of some rare whales, as they were raised in the same regions.
“Those catching the lobster may catch these whales by mistakes," she said.
Wong suggested people to consume lobster from Western Australia as substitute.
Gloria Lai, WWF-Hong Kong's sustainability manager, said there’s huge seafood consumption among the local population, with an average of 60 kilos per person each year. That's the second highest in Asia and eighth globally.
With most seafood available here imported, Lai said by changing our consumption habit, it’s possible to make a significant impact on resources.
"The seafood guide is hoping to help people to make alternative sustainable seafood choices, which means the impact on the environment when catching and producing these fisheries is relatively lower,” she said.
“So these fisheries won’t get extinct easily and our next generation enjoy them as well.”
WWF-Hong Kong also urged the seafood industry to provide more transparent information on product labelling, so that consumers can make informed choices and opt for sustainable seafood alternatives.