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Appearance of Rare Fish Linked to Global Warming

SOUTH KOREA - Giant blue-fin tuna and other semitropical fish are increasingly being caught in South Korean waters it is believed because of global warming

At a fish market in Busan this week, three blue-fin tuna between 2.32-2.43 metres long and weighing between 250-300 kg were put up for auction.

They were caught near Jeju Island and fetched 3 to 3.1 million Won each, according to the Korea Times.

They were the largest tuna caught off the southern coast in recent months. Korea had an unusually large number of tuna in spring, with some 7,000 blue-fin caught in April and May, the largest weighing 70 kilograms, The Korea Times said.

Tuna hauled from Korean waters used to be 50-70 centimeters long, but those caught this spring measured 70-150 centimeters, according to the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute.

Experts say these kinds of fish were rarely seen previously in the relatively chilly South Korean waters and the increasing advent of these kinds of semitropical species is a result of global warming.

The fisheries institute presumes that global warming is part of the reasons for such a haul of "rare" fish here. "Korea had tuna before, but numbers are growing and they are appearing more frequently as the temperature of seas off the south coast and around Jeju has risen by about 2° C from 30 years ago and the warm current there is strong," said Choi Young-min, a researcher at the institute.

Ellen Hardy

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