Journal of
Public Administration and Policy Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Public Adm. Policy Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2480
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPAPR
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 151

Full Length Research Paper

The economics of rebuilding fisheries in Korea: National comprehensive approaches

Sang-Go Lee
College of Fisheries Sciences, Pukyong National University, Busan 606-737, Korea.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 24 February 2010
  •  Published: 31 March 2010



Korea’s coastal and offshore fisheries have experienced a reduction in their catch in the early twenty-first century. The total catch from coastal and offshore fisheries dropped from 1.7 million tonnes in 1986 to one million tonnes in 2004. To address such catch reduction, conventional fish stock enhancement programs have been constantly developed and implemented. However, as fish stocks have been estimated to decrease since 2000 in spite of various management measures, the Korean government has begun to genuinely acknowledge the necessity of enhancing fisheries productivity through the recovery of depleted fish stock. Based on such acknowledgement, a fish stock rebuilding plan (FSRP), combined with conventional fish stock enhancement programs, and was established in 2005. For stocks which have shown a drastic decrease, a FSRP has been set up and promoted. So far, 10 FSRPs have been established and operated up until 2008, and it is planned that this number will expand to 20 species by 2012. The results of pilot projects show that stocks are increasing after the introduction of FSRPs. For instance, the catch per unit effort (CPUE) of sandfish in the East Sea has increased from 0.44 in 2005 to 0.78 in 2007. Consequently, fishing income has increased by 10%. The key lessons learned during the implementation of FSRPs are that causes for the stock decrease are various and complicated, and that it is necessary to adjust and eliminate some conventional policies that could have unforeseen negative impacts on fish stocks. The FSRP-based fisheries management policy in Korea carries great significance, for it has changed the focus of policy from simply maintaining the status quo to stock recovery, and it allows relevant stakeholders to get actively involved in the procedures of establishing and promoting the plan, leading to effective implementation of the plan. While the current FSRP is operated by species, if the FSRP can be gradually expanded to encompass the whole ecosystem it will greatly contribute to more effective management and fish stock recovery for all species in offshore and coastal waters surrounding Korea.


Key words: Fish stock rebuilding plan (FSRP), ecosystem based FSRP, voluntary participation, stock enhancement programs, comprehensive approach.