World Aquaculture - June 2023

10 JUNE 2023 • WORLD AQUACULTURE • WWW.WAS.ORG CHAPTER REPORTS Korean Chapter Emergency Committee for the 2023-2024 Term Until now, the Korean Chapter (KC) has been trying to overcome the decline in chapter membership. Due to the recent COVID-19 situation, Chapter activities have not been carried out as intended. In addition, general business meetings have not been held for three years due to mandatory social distance regulations. During the pandemic, the 2021-22 election of officers was conducted by email vote, as recommended by the Senior Advisory Council (SAC), composed of Jeong-Yeol Lee, Seung-Cheol Charles Bai and Seok-Joong Kang. Currently, no officers have been elected for the 2023-2024 term. The current chapter situation was recognized as an emergency in which normal branch activities were challenging with the President’s efforts alone. Accordingly, the SAC decided to temporarily operate the KC by converting it into a four-member Emergency Committee, including three members of the SAC and Immediate Past-president Ik Kyo Chung, to overcome the current situation. The Emergency Committee will manage KC activities as a collective system to carry out chapter work under a coordinated strategy. In particular, the Emergency Committee will strive to restore the number of members to normal and prepare improvement plans through revision of the bylaws and put the chapter on a standard track until Professor Han-Kyu Lim, recommended as the President of the 2025-2026 term, begins his term. NIFS Hosts International Seaweed Symposium The National Institute of Fisheries Science (NIFS; President Dong-Shik Woo) held an international symposium on the present and future of seaweed research and industry for development of the seaweed industry and international cooperation in April. About 50 people attended the event, including academia, government officials, related industrial workers, research staff and representatives of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The event was held as a series of research presentations, each followed by a panel discussion. The main contents were 1) Korea’s seaweed industry and research — Is it a crisis or an opportunity? (Professor Han-Gil Choi, Wonkwang University, President of the Phycological Society of Korea), 2) The present and future of Korean seaweed aquaculture and breeding research to respond to climate change (Dr. Eunkyung Hwang, NIFS), 3) Climate change from the perspective of WWF in the US and the kelp aquaculture industry for the public interest (Bailey Moritz, US WWF), 4) Fostering the seaweed industry in the UK (Mollie Gupta, UK WWF). During the panel discussion, there was a heated discussion among domestic and foreign industry, academia, government and research officials on the development direction of Korea and the global seaweed industry. Participants agreed on the need for international cooperation in developing seaweed breeding and aquaculture technologies. As the world’s largest non-profit international nature conservation organization, WWF is researching and supporting sustainable future food resources, recently paying attention to the importance of the seaweed industry. WWF visited Korea, a leading country in seaweed farming, to discuss cooperation. Seaweed is becoming a target of cooperation to secure a supply chain as future food and industrial raw material, attracting attention as a potential source of blue carbon to respond to global climate change and realize carbon neutrality. Accordingly, the international community, including the EU and the United States, is rapidly introducing support policies for seaweed farming. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is focusing on seaweed by promoting the preparation of a seaweed farming manual. Marine Gardening (Sea Arbor) Day The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF) held the 11th Marine Gardening (Sea Arbor) Day Ceremony under the theme “Under the Sea We Draw; The Sea Forest We Dream Of” in Jeju in May. The event was held to announce the achievements of the ten-year undersea forest creation and to strengthen cooperation with private companies to expand the undersea forest. Marine Gardening (Sea Arbor) Day on May 10 is a day to plant algae in the sea and it means revitalizing the creation of undersea forests, like forests on land, by planting seaweeds to revive the desertified sea. Around 290 ha of undersea forest has been created by 2022, which is considered to increase the health of the coastal ecosystem, resolve tidal greening and reduce carbon dioxide. At the ceremony, the MOF, Hyundai Motors and Hyosung Group signed a business agreement to cooperate with the undersea forest blue carbon (carbon absorbed by the marine ecosystem). This business agreement is meaningful because private companies will participate in the undersea forest creation project for the first time. Through this agreement, companies interested in social contribution activities and environmental protection are expected to participate. Development of High-tech Genetic Ability Prediction Method for Flounder The NIFS has analyzed hundreds of thousands of flounder to obtain genome information. It developed a cutting-edge technique that can predict in advance how much the flounder will grow from fertilized eggs and how well it will withstand disease. Unlike existing selective breeding techniques, which requires 1.5-2 years to grow flounder to adult size to determine growth rate and disease resistance, selective breeding from fertilized eggs is now possible with the development of the advanced prediction technique. The technique has about 17 percent more predictive value for growth (weight) traits than conventional selective breeding techniques in the accuracy of predicting genetic ability for each trait of flatfish and prediction of disease resistance (VHS, viral hemorrhagic sepsis) traits. The levels were about 14 percent higher, making it possible to quickly develop varieties that grow well and are disease resistant. As a result, this technique is expected to dramatically improve breeding efficiency and shorten the breeding period, helping to strengthen the industrial effect and international competitiveness of aquatic seed development. Korean Chapter