First farmed salmon produced in South Korea
South Korea has produced Asia’s first farmed salmon, after a farm in Gangwon Province successfully reported harvesting 500 metric tons of the world’s most-consumed fish.
The farm in Goseong County, run by fisheries company Donghae STF with support from South Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, contained both freshwater and ocean environments, according to a Korea Bizwire report.
Donghae STF managed to hatch salmon eggs imported from Canada in 2014 and raise them for 10 months in inland waters, growing them to 200 to 400 grams in weight. The company then moved the fish to the ocean, using a submersible fish cage that was moved as deep as 25 meters below the surface to align the fish with ambient water temperatures between 15 to 18 degrees Celsius. After an additional 10 months, the mature farmed salmon reached an average weight of five kilograms and were harvested.
According to the report, salmon farming had been considered nearly impossible in Korean waters because salmon fail to survive in water temperatures exceeding 20 degrees Celsius, and local waters can reach more than 29 degrees Celsius during the summer.
The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said the announcement was significant for economic reasons. The global salmon market is large and growing rapidly, with global salmon consumption reaching 4.24 million metric tons in 2013, the last year for which data is available. In South Korea, salmon is the second-most consumed species of fish, with 34,000 tons consumed in 2015, a near-threefold increase since 2010.
“We’ll continue to discover optimal regions for salmon aquaculture in the East Sea, so we can substitute a portion of imported salmon with domestic ones,” an unnamed ministry official told Korea Bizwire. “We’ll also be promoting private investment in salmon aquaculture, to help it establish itself as a prosperous industry of the future.”