According to the statistics provided by the FAO Fisheries, in 2003, the total fisheries production was 2 492 545 tonnes with 1 652 700 tonnes of capture and 839 845 tonnes of aquaculture production. The common species of aquatic animals caught are anchovy, squid, and mackerel, as well as yellow croaker and swordfish.
“South Korea’s deep-sea fishing fleet experiences the most fluctuation in output with the total deep-sea catch varying by plus or minus 10% to 15% in most years. In 2006, deep seas fisheries production reached 639,000mt, an increase of 15% from 552,000mt the previous year but below the 2000 deep-sea catch totaling 651,000mt at the start of the decade.
The deep-sea fishing fleet operates mainly in the North and South Pacific and the Indian Ocean, catching mostly tuna and Alaska Pollack. Most of the Alaska Pollack catch is brought back to South Korea for domestic consumption while about 50% of the tuna catch is landed in foreign ports. The deep-sea fleet also fishes for squid near the Falklands Islands.
Tuna is the major fish type in the deep sea catch of which skipjack is about 65% by weight. Tuna accounts for almost half of the total deep-sea catch. Alaska Pollack is normally the second largest species caught by the deep-sea fleet followed by squid. Saury and croaker are the other important species for South Korea’s deep-sea fishermen.”
Read more: South Korea - World Fishing & Aquaculture
Inland culture is using the tank-based farming system for flounder and eel and raceways system for rainbow trout. Approximately 121 853 ha are taken over for the aquaculture industry. That includes 68 062 ha for seaweed production, 47 381 ha for shellfish, 2136 ha for finfish, and 4274 for other aquatic animals.
In 2003, 98% of total production was marine aquaculture with 55% of seaweed produced, including sea mustard, laver, kelp, green laver, etc. The second most produced group of marine aquaculture is mollusk species, including oysters, Korean mussel, the sea squirt red oyas, the Japanese carpet shell, ark shells, cockles, Yesso scallop, and abalone. The common farmed marine finfish in the country are bastard halibut, Korean rockfish, mullet, seabass, yellowtail, red seabream, black seabream, brown croaker, and puffers.
In South Korea, farms are placed on the south and west coasts, primarily on Jeju island. Each farm produces approximately 110 tonnes per year.
“Longline-based oyster farming is practiced on the southeast and southern coasts, including the Tongyoung blue belts where the water depths are 5-20 m. Longlines of about 100 m long are stretched horizontally on the surface of the water, spaced 5-10 m apart, floats, and anchored firmly to the bottom in order to keep the long lines on the surface of the water. Vertical ropes are hung from the long lines at intervals of 50-70 cm to which seed collectors are attached every 30-50 cm, normally, the lines are made of polyethylene, and the floats are of styrofoam. The farming of oysters, mussels, pearl oysters, and sea squirts is based on these longline systems.”
“Offshore systems which are commonly used for Korean rockfish, one of the most important marine species in the country are usually produced in offshore floating net-pens. Fixed and semi-floating culture systems are used for laver seaweed production.
Due to the country's high population density and limited available land area, commercial recirculation fish culture systems have become important production systems. These systems require high initial capital investment for the construction of the farm and a high level of management, but this is matched by the high output due to high stocking density.”
Read more: South Korea - National Aquaculture Sector Overview