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Annual Growth of 1.9% in domestic capture fishery Production in 2020

Date. 2021-02-15
Hit. 1270

KRW 4.3 trillion in production value, 10.3% increase y-on-y


The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF; Minister MOON, Seong-Hyeok) announced that the domestic capture fishery production in 2020 recorded a 1.9% increase year-on-year.

According to the Statistics Korea, the last year’s total catch in Korean waters was 932,000 tonnes, an increase of 1.9% (915,000 tonnes) over 2019 production.


The seven most caught species in 2020 were anchovy (217,000 tonnes), chub mackerel (77,000 tonnes), hairtail (66,000 tonnes), common squid (57,000 tonnes), jack mackerel (46,000 tonnes), small yellow croaker (41,000 tonnes) and spanish mackerel (33,000 tonnes).


The annual variation of catch by species exhibited both an upward and downward trend. Namely, small yellow croaker (59.4%), hairtail (51.2%), anchovy (26.3%), blue crab (25.3%) and flounders (20.6%) showed an increase in catch, while chub mackerel (-23.5%) and goosefish (-27.1%) showed a decrease in catch. The catch of common squid, jack mackerel, red snow crab, spanish mackerel and herring was comparable to its counterpart in the previous year, with the difference between the pairs being less than 20%.

Small yellow croaker schools in the southern part of the Yellow Sea and northwestern area of Jeju island experienced a large increase in the fish density as small yellow croaker made a south-ward migration driven by strong Yellow Sea Bottom Cold Water, which also led to a significant increase in the catch of offshore gillnet fishery and most of other fisheries likewise. The main fishing season of small yellow croaker is from September to December.


Due to the warm oceanic environment which exhibited an increase of water temperature by 0.5 to above 1℃, more hairtail schools, whose major fishing season is from August to December, headed north from the East China Sea to the southern part of the Yellow Sea and vicinity of Jeju island after their wintering period, and the distribution density of anchovy, the major prey species of hairtail, was greatly increased, forming a good fishing environment. Both have rapidly facilitated the operation of offshore longliners and trawlers.


The anchovy drag net fishery, whose major fishing season is from July to October, produced more catch as there was an upsurge in the anchovy population in the South Sea driven by a roughly 2.7 times drastic increase of egg densities in the spawning season (April-August) and by favorable water temperature (22-26℃) maintained during August and September.


On the other hand, there was a sharp decrease in chub mackerel catch made by the large-powered purse seine fishery, whose major fishing season is from September to January of the following year, as quality fishing grounds have been rarely developed in Jeju area due to the bad weather conditions in November and December.


Goosefish catch also showed a down-ward trend not only because the Covid-19 situation caused a decrease in fishery products consumption and accompanying reduction in fishing operations during its fishing season from January to May but also because the water temperature in May and June was 1-3℃ higher than average years, causing a decline in the spawning population visiting the coast.


Meanwhile, the production value of the domestic capture fishery in 2020 recorded KRW 4.365 trillion, a 10.3% increase over the previous year (KRW 3.957 trillion). Statistics for major fisheries resources were common squid (KRW 501.7 billion), hairtail (KRW 466 billion), anchovy (KRW 337.9 billion), small yellow croaker (KRW 289.8 billion), blue crab (KRW 268.2 billion) and chub mackerel (KRW 163.6 billion).


In terms of changes in the production value by species, small yellow croaker (55.8%), hairtail (54.0%), common squid (30.5%), chub mackerel (26.2%), jack mackerel (24.8%) and blue crab (21.0%) exhibited an increase in the production value, while anchovy, red snow crab, goosefish, flounders and spanish mackerel were comparable to the previous year. However, herring showed a decrease of 34.9% in the production value due to poor consumption.