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Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries Secures 11,637 Marine Bio-Resource Organisms across 2,917 Species throughout Korean Waters

Date. 2022-04-06
Hit. 597

- Expected to strengthen sovereignty over marine bio-resources and increase industrial utilization via resource distribution -

 

 

The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF; Minister MOON, Seong-Hyeok) announced that it has secured marine bio-resources consisting of 11,637 organisms across 2,917 species in Korean waters from the Marine Bio-Resource Survey project over the last five years.

 

Following the enactment of the Nagoya Protocol, the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries has carried out its annual Marine Bio-Resource Survey project since 2014 to undertake a survey of Korea’s marine biodiversity, for the purposes of strengthening sovereignty over marine bio-resources and improving their industrial utilization. Since 2017, the project has been extended into a five-year project to implement a more systematic and in-depth survey of marine resources. The waters of Korea have been divided into 5 regions, which were consecutively surveyed, with a total budget of KRW 1.2 billion.

 

The National Marine Biodiversity Institute of Korea survey results show that a total of 11,637 marine bio-resource organisms were secured across 2,917 species throughout Korea’s oceans, inclusive of 238 novel species, which had not been previously observed by the National Marine Biodiversity Institute of Korea. In terms of sea regions, the West Sea had the most diverse bio-resources with 983 species, followed by 565 in the Western South Sea, 529 in the Eastern South Sea, 459 in the Southern East Sea, and 381 in the Central East Sea. In terms of taxon, marine invertebrates were observed with the highest frequency, with 1,788 species, followed by marine plants, marine vertebrates, marine microorganisms, and marine protozoa.

 

Four species secured during this survey, including a Polychaeta species, have been recognized as new species after undergoing through genetic and morphological research. Moreover, species including Ecklonia cava, Cladophora wrightiana var. minor, Sargassum horneri, Carpomitra costata, Halichondria okadai, and Kelletia lischkei, which contain functional substances (such as anti-cancer or anti-oxidation) of high industrial value, have been secured. This has led to expectations of increased industrial use through the sales of the species and provision of their distribution.

 

All bio-resources secured during the survey are preserved permanently as national assets by the National Marine Biodiversity Institute of Korea. The provision of information on the biodiversity habitat as well as on the sales of bio-resources are provided through the Marine Bio Resource Information System (MBRIS).

 

Based on the results of the survey, the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries stated that it has implemented the plan and is carrying out the ‘2022~2026 Marine Bio-Resource Survey,’ which aims to deepen investigations in regions with higher marine biodiversity and island regions that were not thoroughly covered during the previous survey.

 

Director Chung Jae-Kwwan, Head of the Marine and Fisheries Bioresource Division at MOF commented that “marine bio-resources are important assets, which are used as materials for bio-industries” and added, “we will continue to conduct surveys on Korean marine bio-resources to solidify our resource sovereignty and to build a foundation for their utilization.” 

 

 

Ref 1  Key Results of the Marine Bio-Resource Survey

 

Key Results of the Marine Bio-Resource Survey

 

Ref 2  Image of the Marine Bio-Resource Survey

 

Image of the Marine Bio-Resource Survey

 

Image of the Marine Bio-Resource Survey