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Plans to Farm Blue Fin Tuna

SOUTH KOREA - South Korea is preparing to start a bluefin tuna breeding programme to help meet global consumer demand and counter the worldwide falling stocks.

Tuna farming first started in 2007 with just 11 fish, has since expanded to 300 bluefins being raised in three net cages off Yokji Island about 520km southeast of Seoul on the country's southern coast.

The first commercial sales of tuna raised in special cages should take place in around 2015, with good potential for overseas sales to countries like Japan and China, according to the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI).

The tuna being raised are between 10kg to 40kg in size and have been caught for the past three years directly from the sea. Those that have been successfully moved from nets to the holding cages are being held for observation and research purposes, a report on the Yonhap newsagency said.

The researchers beleive they may be able to start collecting fertilized eggs from the tuna as early as next year if the conditions are right.

The aim of the project to to boost stocks of blue fin tuna for teh market, which could be in jeopardy if the European Union puts the bluefin on the endangered species list.

the Fish Site Editor

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