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Part I Statistics and main indicators

  1. Country brief
  2. General geographic and economic indicators
  3. FAO Fisheries statistics

The Profile (2004)

    Additional information

    1. FAO Thematic data bases
    2. Publications
    3. Meetings & News archive

    Part I Statistics and main indicators

    Part I of the Fishery and Aquaculture Country Profile is compiled using the most up-to-date information available from the FAO Country briefs and Statistics programmes at the time of publication. The Country Brief and the FAO Fisheries Statistics provided in Part I may, however, have been prepared at different times, which would explain any inconsistencies.

    Country briefUpdated 06-2017

    Korean total fisheries and aquaculture production reached a peak of 3.1 million tonnes in 1986, declined progressively to less than two million tonnes in 2004 and has only fluctuated slightly since then. Total fish production was 2.1 million tonnes (2015) with aquaculture production accounting for approximately 23 percent of total production. Most catch is used for human consumption which is high at 53.5 kg per capita (2013). Exports of fish and fishery products were USD 1.5 billion; imports were USD 4.3 billion (2015). Employment in the aquaculture and fishery sectors provided about 128 000 full- or part-time jobs in 2015.

    Aquaculture is an important element in the fisheries sector of the country. In 2015 the total aquaculture production was about 1.6 million tonnes with the farm gate value of USD 2.16 billion. Seaweeds farming production was 1.2 million tonnes in 2015, accounting for 71 percent of the total aquaculture production by quantity and 20 percent in value. After the farmed aquatic animals reached a record high of 606 thousand tonnes in 2007, the production level dropped mainly due to the reduced production of marine mollusc. In 2015, food fish production was 479 400 tonnes, about 80 percent of the 2007 production level. In 2013, food fish production was 402 100 tonnes, including 293 800 tonnes of molluscs (primarily Pacific cupped oyster) and approximately 88 400 tonnes of finfish (including bastard halibut and Korean rockfish).

    In 2015 the Korean fishing fleet consisted of about 720 non-powered boats, 250 undecked powered boats under 12m LOA and 66 234 powered vessels of which nearly 90 percent (58 072 vessels) were less than 12 m in length over all (LOA), while less than 1 percent were longer than 35 m. Most vessels were tuna longliners and trawlers operating from overseas fishing bases in all oceans. Tunas and cephalopods are the main target species of distant water fishing along with krill in the Antarctic Ocean.

    The difficulties facing the fishery sector include fleet overcapacity, overfishing and overexploitation; increasing marine pollution, including from industrialization; reclamation of coastal areas negatively affecting fish habitats and reducing fishing grounds. Korea’s fisheries policy currently emphasizes conserving and enhancing coastal fishery resources, controlling fleet capacity; integrated coastal management; and improving value-added fish and fishery products.

    Since January 1996, Korea is a Party to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement which it ratified in 2008. Since April 2003, the Republic of Korea is a Party to the 1993 FAO Compliance Agreement.
    General geographic and economic indicators

    Table 1 - General Geographic and Economic Data – Republic of Korea

    Shelf area

    473,280 km²

    Sea Around Us Project: http://www.seaaroundus.org
    Length of continental coastline 2 413km

    World by Map: http://world.bymap.org/Coastlines.html

    Fisheries GDP (2008) 0,2% National GDP UNSD/FAO

    Key statistics

    Country area100 266km2FAOSTAT. Official data, 2013
    Land area97 466km2FAOSTAT. Expert sources from FAO (including other divisions), 2013
    Inland water area2 800km2Computed. Calculated, 2013
    Population - Est. & Proj.49.565millionsFAOSTAT. Official data, 2018
    Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) area347 641km2VLIZ

    Source: FAO Country Profile

    FAO Fisheries statisticsTable 2 in this section is based on statistics prepared by the FAO Fishery Information, Data and Statistics Unit and disseminated in 2016. The charts are based on the same source but these are automatically updated every year with the most recent statistics.

    Table 2 – Fisheries statistics – Republic of Korea

    1980 1990 2000 2010 2013 2014 2015
    EMPLOYMENT (thousands) 145.24 114.96 171.37 144.35
    Aquaculture 45.45 34.42 40.97 37.99
    Capture 298.12 211.75 99.79 80.54 130.39 106.36
    Inland 3.29
    Marine 298.12 211.75 99.79 77.25 130.39 106.36 256.00
    FLEET(thousands boats) 95.89 76.97 71.29
    Source: FAO Fishery and Aquaculture Statistics
    1) Due to roundings total may not sum up

    Please Note:Fishery statistical data here presented exclude the production for marine mammals, crocodiles, corals, sponges, pearls, mother-of-pearl and aquatic plants.


    Updated 2004The Profile

    This country profile provides statistics and indicators produced through FAO’s Statistics programmes, supplemented with information derived from national and other sources and valid at the time of compilation.

    Full text of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Country Profile available at http://www.fao.org/tempref/FI/DOCUMENT/fcp/en/FI_CP_KR.pdf

    Additional information

    FAO Thematic data bases

    Meetings & News archive


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