MOF’s Work Plan for 2024

Supporting Korea’s economic growth by transforming the marine and fisheries sector through measures to ensure stable livelihoods, abolish regulations, revitalize fishing villages, and adopt green & smart logistics

 - Stabilization of prices through monthly discount events of up to 50% on seafood products

 - Active support for fisheries businesses by expanding the fisheries policy fund to KRW 4.1 trillion, the largest in history

 - Revitalization of fishing villages and the coastal economy by renovating infrastructure in 100 villages and creating marine tourism and cultural hubs

 - Relaxation of 120 fisheries regulations, including the lifting of the off-fishing season and easing vessel inspection standards, to save KRW 80 billion annually

 - Opening of an era of smart ports while expanding Korea-US cooperation in building Green Shipping Corridors to Denmark, Australia, and Singapore

The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (Minister Kang Do-Hyung) announced its ‘Major Policy Implementation Plan for 2024’ on March 4th (Monday). This year, under the policy vision: ‘oceans that empower the people, and marine & fisheries that contribute to the economy,’ the Ministry will pursue major policy initiatives in line with the policy strategy to stabilize the livelihood of the Korean people and to revitalize the economy.

【2024 Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries Major Policy Implementation Plan】

  • I. Stabilize seafood prices and expand support for fishing communities to ease the burden on livelihoods

Stable management of seafood prices, expansion of seafood supply and focused support for discount events

  • Together with expansion of government reserves to 44,000 tons, tariff reductions and exemptions will allow timely supply of items in shortage. In addition, monthly events will be held via online and offline retailers to offer up to 50% discounts on seafood, and the Onnuri gift certificate rebate program in traditional markets will be expanded.

Expanding financial and tax support, including fisheries policy funds, to strengthen fisheries businesses

  • Fisheries policy funds targeted to support the fishing sector will be expanded to a historical high of KRW 4.1 trillion, while the credit limit for individual fishermen will be raised by KRW 500 million*. Moreover, the income tax exemption benchmark, which has been a long-standing demand of the aquaculture sector, will be increased from KRW 30 million to KRW 50 million.
  • * Credit limit for fisheries businesses: KRW 1 → 1.5 billion for individuals, and KRW 1.5 → 2 billion for corporations

Easing the burden on fisheries businesses: reducing electricity bills and increasing direct payments

  • For the first time, the Ministry will support a reduction of up to KRW 440,000 on electricity bills per aquafarm and provide temporary oil price-linked subsidies at times of price surges in tax-free oil for fisheries. In addition, direct payments provided to small-scale businesses and fishermen, which together account for more than 30% of the total fish business population, will be increased from KRW 1.2 million to KRW 1.3 million per year. To improve the effectiveness of the direct payment subsidy, a Direct Payment Reform Plan will be drafted and announced in H1 2024.

Improving welfare support for fishing communities and island residents, including for improving livelihoods and transportation

  • To deliver welfare services directly to fishing villages and island residents, the Ministry will operate the Fishing Village Welfare Bus program and implement a new contactless village-level island medical (doctor) service. The Ministry will also support the operation of passenger ships to a total of 20 remote islands to ensure the transportation rights of the islanders, in addition to implementing the Delivery Fee Subsidy for Island Locations program, which was temporarily rolled out during last year’s Chuseok holidays, year round to ease the livelihood burden of island residents.
  • II. Revitalize fishing villages and coasts as maritime economic hubs

    Transforming fishing villages into attractive destinations with infrastructure upgrades

    • To prevent the accelerating disappearance of fishing villages, the Ministry’s Reform Task Force Team will establish a Comprehensive Plan to Revitalize Fishing Villages and Coastal Areas as a key initiative. Along with infrastructure improvements in 100 fishing villages this year, the Ministry plans to introduce Special Fishing Village Development Zones and remove restrictions on port hinterlands to create new turning-point opportunities to revive fishing villages and coastal communities.

    Moving beyond individual infrastructure to develop regional marine tourism and cultural hubs

    • In conjunction with private investment, the Ministry will draft a master plan to create tourist attractions similar to Sentosa of Singapore or Cancun of Mexico as part of efforts to build integrated marine leisure and tourism cities. Moreover, the South Coast Marine Leisure Tourism Belt will be created to connect marine tourism resources across Busan and the Gyeongsangnam-do and Jeollanam-do provinces and boost marine tourism consumption in the region.

    Delivering tangible economic outcomes from new maritime industries to offer new growth engines for the region

    • The Ministry will support the marine-biotech sector to create regional bases focused on commercialization and double the size of the market while supporting Korean companies to win offshore plant service orders, with the goal to achieve KRW 600 billion in orders this year.
  • III. Revitalize fishing villages and coasts as maritime economic hubs

    Scaling up fisheries based on principles of autonomy and accountability

    • By 2027, the Ministry will retire 50% of the more than 1,500 fishing regulations currently in effect. First, in 2024, the Ministry plans to relax more than 120 regulations, including lifting off-fishing seasons in Gomso Bay and Geumgang Estuary and relaxing inspection standards for fishing vessels, with the aim to achieve annual savings of more than KRW 80 billion. In place of complex regulations, the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) system, which manages fishing operations by the amount of catch, shall be reinforced. In 2024, 50% of the total annual catch shall be managed under the TAC system to help restore stocks in coastal waters and ensure fisheries competitiveness.

    Transforming fisheries to ensure opportunities for and accessibility to youth and future generations

    • The Ministry will strengthen support for new entrants to the fishing sector, including young people, by establishing a fishing boat bank to support the purchase and lease of idle and decommissioned fishing vessels. In addition, the Ministry will run a pilot project this year that will offer subsidies to 10 aquafarms to support 50% of fish farm lease fees (up to KRW 27.5 million), with the aim to attract new entrants to the market.

    Smart transformation of the aquaculture sector, creation of Smart Aquaculture Clusters by region

    • In 2024, Smart Aquaculture Clusters that can produce Atlantic salmon will be established in Busan and Gangneung-Yangyang, laying the foundation to enter the KRW 60 trillion global salmon market. In addition, the technology acquired through the clusters will be transferred to the private sector to support the smart transformation of the entire aquafarm sector.

    Aim to deliver USD 800 million in seaweed exports, USD 600 million in tuna, and develop oysters, abalone, and halibut as star products that can deliver over USD 100 million

    • Seafood exports, led by the No. 1 product gim (seaweed), enjoyed continued growth since 2020 but recorded a slight decline in 2023. The Ministry will provide support to expand destinations for the star product gim to help achieve USD 800 million in exports in 2024, while securing overseas fishing grounds for tuna to achieve USD 600 million exports in 2024. Furthermore, promising export products such as oysters, abalone, and halibut are to be further promoted as “USD 100 million star products,” backed by technological innovation and support for logistics and marketing.
  • VI. Drive the export economy by providing world-class logistics services

    Expanding global Green Shipping Corridors to become a “maritime mobility powerhouse”

    • The Ministry plans to involve Denmark, Australia, and Singapore in the cooperation between Korea and the United States to build Green Shipping Corridors, a joint effort that began last year with the aim to contribute to carbon neutrality by introducing carbon-free ships. Also, reductions in acquisition tax for eco-friendly ships will help improve the conversions of domestic ships from the current level of about 14% to 20%. Furthermore, the public-developed autonomous ship system will be demonstrated on an 1,800 TEU container ship, accelerating the digitalization of ships.

    Boosting the national competitive edge by building full-scale smart megaports

    • Phase 2-5 Busan New Port will open this March as the first smart terminal in Korea to have all processes automated, while Jinhae New Port will begin construction with the goal of opening Phase 1-1 in 2029. As smart terminals will enable 24-hour non-stop port operations, they are expected to improve productivity by 20% compared to conventional ports, consequently strengthening national competitiveness in logistics. In addition, the Ministry plans to develop a smart port that is 100% based on local technology by starting the construction of a testbed at Gwangyang Port.

    Expanding Korea’s maritime transportation and logistics network to open more export avenues for Korean businesses

    • The Ministry will continue to expand national maritime transportation capacity to build an export logistics network without blind spots. From February 2024, 12 new large container vessels (13,000 TEU class) will start to operate in core routes, and support will be provided to establish new routes in emerging and promising markets such as India and the Mediterranean Sea. Moreover, dedicated cargo space for Korean exporters will be increased in preparation against logistical challenges such as the Red Sea crisis, and a public-private joint emergency response team will be set up to actively respond to such logistics issues.
    • Furthermore, the Ministry will work towards expanding Korea’s logistics network in key markets including the Americas and Europe, and in emerging markets such as Southeast Asia. In addition to the existing four overseas logistics centers, new centers will begin operation in Vietnam and Los Angeles to cater to Korean businesses. In the longer horizon, logistics centers will be added in Eastern Europe, such as in Croatia, and in North America, such as in New York and Chicago.

Minister Kang Do-Hyung of Oceans and Fisheries stated, “Last year, in response to the discharge of contaminated water from Japan’s nuclear power plant, the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries made every effort to safely manage our oceans and prevent a decline in seafood consumption. This year, we will focus our policy efforts on stabilizing seafood prices and the livelihoods of fishing communities, as well as enhancing the economic vitality of fishing villages and coastal areas and fostering a more dynamic logistics, ports, and fisheries sector in order to produce results in our national oceans and fisheries initiatives.