World Aquaculture Magazine - March 2024

12 MARCH 2024 • WORLD AQUACULTURE • WWW.WAS.ORG CHAPTER REPORTS Gim (Laver) Becomes First Seafood Product to Reach KRW 1 Trillion ($7.7 Billion) in Exports On December 21, the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF) announced that exports of South Korea’s flagship seafood product, Gim (laver) reached KRW 1 trillion won ($7.7 billion), exported to 124 countries around the world, from dried to seasoned to snack laver. This is the best performance for a single item in the history of seafood exports. While exports have been struggling due to the global economic slowdown, the record-breaking performance of seaweed exports is helping to revitalize a rebound. Gim producers, processors, and exporters have worked hard to innovate technologies and develop new products, opening up not only traditional export markets such as the United States, China, and Japan, but also new markets such as the Middle East and South America. Gim exports have grown at an average annual rate of 8 percent over the past decade, and the number of export destinations has nearly doubled from 64 countries in 2010. The MOF has been supporting the industry to acquire international certifications, provide export vouchers, and participate in overseas trade consultations. In addition, to stably produce competitive seaweed products, the ministry designated three ‘Gim Industry Promotion Zones’, areas created to promote seaweed production, aquaculture, processing, manufacturing, distribution, export, and sales. “We will continue to actively promote brand marketing and new product development so that Korean Gim can firmly hold the top spot in the overseas laver market,” said Cho Seung-Hwan (Minister, MOF). Promoting the Most Popular Korean Farmed Seafood – Gim, Oysters, Abalone, and Flounder The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF) established a plan to foster key varieties of farmed marine products in January 2024. The MOF (Minister Kang Do-Hyung) focuses on increasing the consumption and export of domestic representative farmed marine products such as Gim (laver), oysters, abalone, and flounder. The MOF established and announced the “Full cycle development plan for key aquaculture products” that supports the entire cycle from production to distribution and export. The MOF selected Gim (laver), oysters, abalone, and flounder as four core products with a production and consumption base to respond quickly to changes in the external environment surrounding farmed marine products. It classified them by item to ensure their competitiveness in the global market. The MOF plans to provide comprehensive support by preparing specific development plans and explaining this promotion plan’s purpose and main contents to businesses and organizations in the four core items, discovering necessary support in the field, and organizing it as a new project this year. In the case of oysters, the proportion of individual oysters (sold by the shell) preferred by American and European consumers will be increased to 30% by 2030 (currently 1%) to expand premium oyster exports. The scope of domestic oysters will be expanded by simultaneously exporting price-competitive domestic peeled oysters and premium individual oysters. In addition, the MOF plans to expand the oyster consumer base by developing various processed products such as snacks and soups, using oysters and oyster products for school meals, and reducing negative perceptions about oysters’ unique flavor and texture. The MOF will expand the scope of the abalone market by creating various processing recipes using abalone and developing 20 promising processed abalone products by 2030. In addition, the MOF will improve the abalone export structure, which was concentrated in Japan (78% as of 2022), by exporting processed abalone products as healthy food to Western countries that are not familiar with abalone and exporting them from clean fishing grounds to East Asia, such as China and Vietnam, which prefer live abalone. Currently, most flounder is consumed as live fish, so there is a need to revitalize processing to expand consumption. Accordingly, the MOF provides support in processing flounder into everyday foods such as steak and salad so that it can become a highly versatile product like salmon. The stability in quantity and price must be preempted to increase production efficiency by distributing excellent seeds and high-efficiency equipment, and forming a processing market. The Promise of Collaboration to Expand the Market for Environmentally Friendly and Responsible Aquaculture by PKNU, ASC, KFARTA, and Aquapro Co. Pukyong National University (PKNU), Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), Korea Future Aquaculture Technology Research Association (KFATRA), and Aquapro Co., Ltd. participated in a momentous event on December 27, 2023, by signing an agreement that marks a significant step towards promoting sustainable aquaculture technology in Korea. An agreement ceremony was held, and the agreement was prepared to spread sustainable aquaculture technology for the future of the domestic aquaculture industry, with the potential to improve the quality and expand the market of responsible aquaculture products for the environment and society, and promote certification by the ASC Aquaculture Management Council. The Korea Future Aquaculture Technology Research Association (KFATRA), a technology network, and Aquapro Co., the first company in Korea to successfully farm flounder using a circular filtration method, are expanding their cooperation. Specific areas of cooperation include producer education and promotion, market access and expansion for ASC-certified aquaculture products, promoting the need for sustainable seafood to consumers, disseminating consumer culture and cooperation in joint promotions, expanding eco-friendly feeds and smart aquaculture technology, and information sharing. Ceremony Held for 60 years of Korean Shrimp Farming The Korea Shrimp Farming Association held a monument unveiling ceremony at the entrance of Muchangpo Chicken Crest Island in Doksan-ri, Ungcheon-up, Boryeong-gun, Chungnam, to Korean Chapter