A fisherman holding a bluefin tuna bred nead Tongyeong. (Photo: Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries)
Bluefin tuna farmed in South Korea to reach the market soon
Saturday, June 23, 2018, 03:00 (GMT + 9)
Farm-bred bluefin tuna in South Korean farming centres is coming to the market, which is good news for sushi lovers in the country.
Led by the high demand for the resource, South Korean fishermen tried to farm it but their efforts were fraught with challenges like typhoons and cold winters.
After a lot of trial and error over the past decade, Hongjin Fishing Association said it succeeded in growing bluefin tuna in a pen in waters off Tongyeong, about 370 kilometers southeast of Seoul, over the last 22 months.
The fish are as heavy as 30 kilograms and about 30,000 tons of them will be sold on the market later this year, the agency Yonhap reported.
The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said it will support research and development efforts to develop the fish farming business and expand related infrastructure and facilities needed for the mass commercialization of tuna bred in captivity.
"It has been proven that bluefin tuna can be cultivated in the domestic environment although temperature dips below 10 Celsius in winter," the ministry said.
"If large-scale tuna aquaculture is possible, it could help maintain the global stockpile of endangered bluefin tuna," it added.
In its view, if 85 per cent of the bluefin catch is replaced with farm-bred fish, it would create about KRW 100-300 billion (USD 90-270 million) of economic benefits.