Successful Chinese businesspeople like to entertain clients at exclusive fish restaurants that serve delicacies such as humphead wrasse and grouper. Some of the fish cost between 300 and 400 euros per kilogram. But what many of the customers don't know is that the fish are often pumped full of chemicals before their trip to Hong Kong.
The journey of the fish starts at the Coral Triangle, which stretches from waters of the Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, East Timor and the Solomon Islands - an area which is home to over 2,000 species of reef fish.
Around 120 million people live in the Coral Triangle and many of them make a living in the fishing industry. Between 10 and 20,000 tons of fish are exported from the region annually. Overfishing is increasingly becoming a burden not only to the fishermen but also to biodiversity.
Fishing nets are prohibited so fishing is quite time consuming. A number of anglers thus resort to drastic measures: they pour cyanide into the water, which drugs the fish and makes them swim up to the surface. The fishermen then simply "pluck" the fish out of the water.
After the fish are scooped up from the water's surface, they must be kept alive and transported as quickly as possible to foreign buyers. Dead fish have a much lower price tag.
The fishermen bring their catch to so-called "fish barons" who virtually control the industry using shady practices like keeping the anglers in debt servitude.
The fish are transported by air so they arrive as fresh as possible. They are injected with a drug cocktail of antibiotics and tranquilizers to keep the fish calm.
After the deliveries arrive in Hong Kong, at the world's largest living fish market, the fish are pepped up again before they end up on plates at expensive restaurants.
Fish is not as fresh as it seems in exclusive, highbrow Hong Kong restaurants.