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South Korea Making Progress in Bluefin Tuna Farming Development

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SOUTH KOREA - The South Korean government is aiming to successfully develop bluefin tuna farming in Jeju, by forming a research cluster comprised of government research institutes and private fishing groups.

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The National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI), Jeju Ocean and Fishery Institute and Gyeongsangnam-do Fisheries Resources Research Institute reached an agreement to form a tuna farming research cluster with five private companies on March 25, reports TheKoreaBizwire.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Future Farming Research Center, under the auspices of the NFRDI, will be responsible for overseeing the research cluster’s operations, while the two provincial research institutes will develop skills to produce tuna larvae and provide tuna fry for test farming.

Five other private companies will experiment with raising the tuna larvae at fish farms located in the sea off Jeju Island. Professor Chung Kwan-sik of Chonnam National University, who participated in other tuna farming experiments in Japan, will offer his expertise to the project.

Last year, the Future Farming Research Center produced some 19,000 tuna fry, and 50 of them have grown up to weigh about 3kg. In addition, the center is raising around 200 bluefin tuna weighing 30kg at its open sea farm.

The Jeju provincial institute succeeded in producing tuna larvae with fertilized eggs imported from Malta, and is currently raising 100 tuna fry in an onshore tank.

Several years ago, a fish farm succeeded in growing bluefin tunas up to 40kg, but they perished due to a typhoon.

Japan has succeeded in tuna farming and is currently capable of raising bluefin tuna of up to 40 or 50kg in 18 to 36 months, depending on the region.

An official at the Jeju Ocean and Fishery Institute said: “Through the research cluster, we can share responsibilities for the tuna farming experiments, and maximize synergy effects. By forming a national level tuna farming center, we will finish the cluster successfully.”

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