SEOUL, Nov. 29 (Korea Bizwire) – The Jeju Fish Research Institute (JFRI) announced on November 28 that 380 yellowtail fish had been successfully hatched through fish farming methods this summer and were currently being raised for breeding purposes.
Weighing 280 to 350g, the yellowtail are expected to grow to weigh over 8 kg each in three years.
In November of last year, the National Institute of Fisheries Science bred 7,100 yellowtail fry by collecting fertilized eggs from mature fish kept in a water tank.
Besides Japan, which accomplished the feat thirty years ago, South Korea is the only country in the world to have bred yellowtail in a completely artificial setting. Unlike the method undertaken by the South Korean institute last year, Japanese methods entail artificial fertilization of yellowtail eggs.
A researcher at the JFRI said, “We believe that the method of natural fertilization lowers the stress levels of female fish and also carries the advantage of greater efficiency in the breeding process.”
The JFRI is also raising 69 more yellowtail that will be able to produce fertilized eggs by March.
The institute stated it is open to the idea of selling fertilized eggs to private companies and trialing yellowtail farming before the target year of 2020.
Yellowtail is typically eaten as sashimi during the winter season. A species that travels in schools, annual catches can fluctuate considerably depending on ocean temperatures and currents.
In 2010, the South Korean fishing industry hauled in 19,468 tons of yellowtail. Two years ago, the catch amounted to 8,827 tons. Due to the variance in volume, prices can be exorbitant. A yellowtail weighing 5kg can fetch anywhere from 200,000 to 300,000 won on the market.
The JFRI is believed to be developing a method to alter the yellowtail’s breeding period from April to January. If possible, this would enable marketable fish approximately weighing 2kg to be available within one year.
Yellowtail is the first species of fish farmed in South Korea. Aquaculture of the sea animal began in Gampo, North Gyeongsang Province in 1965. By 1970, fish farmers were catching and raising yellowtail before exporting them to Japan. Approximately 150,000 tons of yellowtail are consumed in Japan every year.
Lina Jang (email@example.com)