KOREA-US AQUACULTURE -> Korean aquaculture
of Korean Aquaculture
Korea is geographically located in a thermal
zone with four distinct seasons, thus it abounds in diverse marine
organisms surrounding the peninsula. Aquatic organisms have been
favorably consumed in Korea, having replaced much of the protein
needed for normal human activities in the country. Blessed with
an abundance of fisheries resources, the Koreans have developed
a distinct fish food culture based on marine products. Indeed, fisheries
have played an important role in food culture and early development
of the food industry in Korea.
According to the reported document, it was around 300
years ago when a commercial aquaculture was first practiced in Korea.
A culture of seaweed species, Porphyra sp. appeared in estuarine
waters on the southern coasts of the peninsula. Pacific oyster,
Crassostrea gigas, has also hundreds of aquaculture history.
The science-based research activities were initiated since 1929
when Jinhae Inland Fisheries Research Institute of National Fisheries
Research and Development Institute (NFRDI) was organized, focusing
on freshwater finfish including common carp. Further initiations
of inland fisheries research program were supported by additional
organizations of research institute.
A view of oyster farm located in the southern coastal waters of
The aquaculture research activities for freshwater
finfish had contributed to the development of mariculture. NFRDI
and Pukyong National University played a central role in the mariculture
development in Korea. Hatchery-based seed production is primary
element for recent aquaculture because advanced aquaculture technology
is based on a mass production from hatchery-based seed.
The twelve NFRDI marine hatcheries located along the coastal areas
of Korean peninsula have taken some parts in technical aspects of
the hatchery-based seed production technology. Due to the efforts,
commercial hatcheries have thrive in this country, providing fish
and shellfish farmers with the seeds for aquaculture.
The advanced aquaculture technology also enabled to
import foreign species into the domestic aquaculture industry. Tilapia
Oreochromis niloticus was first imported from Thailand in
1955, followed by two carps, grass and silver carps from Japan 1965,
channel catfish from America in 1972, and Israeli carp in 1973.
Studies are till going for the successful introduction of foreign
species such as red drum from China, turbot from England, spotted
sea bass from China, noble scallop from Japan, and white leg shrimp
The seed of olive flounder produced in the marine hatchery. The
flounder is one of the major marine species cultured along all coasts
of the peninsula.
Aquaculture is poised to become an important source
of marine protein that Koreans need presently and in the future.
Because the capture fishing industry has peaked and is likely to
decline as wild stocks are diminished, aquaculture will become a
growing source of seafood products. Already, a considerable percentage
of all aquatic products consumed in Korea is coming from aquatic
farms. For some species, the production totally comes from aquaculture
activities in the country. The aquaculture industry of Korea, however,
is not without problems. Outbreaks of diseases and harmful algal
blooms in the farming grounds occur annually. However, efforts to
get through the problems are continuous, using environmentally sound
Approach to molecular biology and genetics is of recent interest
in the practice of modern aquaculture.
Seaweeds take a considerable part of total marine aquaculture production.
The 1999 annual yield of mariculture products reaches 765.3 x 103
MT. The yield of seaweed is 473.7 x 103 MT, or 61.0% of the total
mariculture yields. The farmed production of finfish, crustaceans,
and molluscs is 258.1 x 103 MT, occupying 33.7% of the total production.
Of the marine farmed production, finfish are of interest in Korea.
The total finfish reached 33.5 x 103 MT, or 4.4% of the total mariculture
yield. Two marine finfish, olive flounder and black rockfish, dominate
all the finfish species farmed in Korea. Production of these two
species has been elevated very rapidly since 1990s. For example,
according to MOMAF Fisheries Data, the 1998 flounder production
reached 34,115 MT, 32.9 times over 1990 production, 1,037 MT. This
production increase was much more evident in the black rockfish
production. The culture systems for the species are cage for rockfish
and land-based tank for flounder. Sea bass (Lateolabrax
japonicus), yellow tail (Seriola quinqueradiata), red
sea bream (Pagrus major), and mullet (Mugil cephalus)
are cultured in Korea. The black sea bream (Acanthopagrus schlegeli)
and parrot fish (Oplegnathus faciatus) are recent target
Olive flounder, Paralichthys olivaceus, is one of the most
important marine species cultured in Korea.
Crustacean culture in Korean peninsula is primarily
of penaeid shrimps and crabs. Two penaeid shrimps, Chinese fleshy
prawn and Kuruma prawn, have been cultured for decades on western
and southern coasts of Korean peninsula, respectively. For crabs,
Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis) and mitten crab
(E. japonicus) have been cultured in locations. The blue
crab (Portunus trituberculatus) and snow crab (Chionoecetes
opilio) have been considered as a target species in the future.
Some bivalves have been major species in Korean
aquaculture industry. Production of molluscan bivalves in
1999 reached 256,947 MT, making up 33.6% of the total mariculture
production. The farming area for bivalves amounts to 45,268
ha, or 41.5% of the total area devoted to mariculture.
The abalones attached on a shelter. Abalones are one of the most
common species cultured widely along the all coasts of Korean peninsula.
The major species cultured are oysters (Crassostrea gigas, Pinctada
fucata), mussel (Mytilus coruscus), sea squirt (Halocynthia
roretzi), clam (Ruditapes philippinarum), ark shells
(Anadara satowi, A. broughtonii), cockles (A. granosabisenensis,
A. subcrenata), scallop (Patinopecten yessoensis), and
abalone (Haliotis discushannai). Of them, oysters are
dominating all the bivalve species. In 1999, oyster production was
177,259 MT, accounting for 69.0% of the total yield of cultured
mollusks, and 16,135 MT (6.3%) of short neck clam and 15,135 MT
(5.9%) of mussels were produced.
scallops species, Chlamys farreri (left) and Patinopection
yessoeusis (right) cultured in Korean waters
Seaweeds have long aquaculture history and have
been important aquatic products in Korea. The 1999 area for seaweed
production amounts to 60,506 ha, or 55.4% of the total area devoted
to mariculture. The major species cultured are sea mustard
(Undaria), laver (Porphyra), fusiforme (Hijikia
fusiforme), kelp (Laminaria), and green algae (Euteromopha).
The 1999 productions of total seaweeds are 473,672 MT; 213,706 MT
for sea mustard, 205,706 MT for laver, 25,447 MT for kelp, and 22,679
MT for fusiforme.
The freshwater aquaculture
The 1999 yield of freshwater aquaculture
products reached 11,529 MT, 10.8 times over 1979 yield. However,
the production, thereafter, decreases dramatically because of the
practice of new policy for freshwater preservation. The finfish
species cultured are common carp (Cyprinus carpio), rainbow