English III 2021



The Korean fishing industry has experienced many uncertainties due to the depletion of fishing resources and imported fishing products over the last few decades. The decline is prominent in coastal and deep-sea fishing, which have traditionally been important in the Korean fishing industry. However, the total fishing industry output and value of production have improved slightly, with a gradual increase in aquaculture and inland water fisheries since 2000.

The overall depression in the fishing industry has caused a persistent decline in the fishing household population and the number of fishing households. The fishing household population has declined at an average annual rate of 4.2% over the past 50 years (1970–2019), and the proportion of people aged 65 years or over in the total fishing household population reached 39.2% in 2019. Similar to the change in fishing household population, the number of fishing households fell from about 149,000 households in 1970 to about 51,000 households in 2019. In terms of the changes in the number of fishing households by type of business, the decreasing rate of the number of part-time fishing households is higher than that of the number of full-time fishing households. As a result, the percentage of full-time fishing households is relatively high. It is estimated that such changes are linked to the growing number of fishing households that started to join the large-scale fishing industry centered on aquaculture after the 2000s. These changes, to some extent, have led to an increase in the size of fishing households and specialization of the fishing industry.  

However, fishing businesses overall are still small in scale. The government has tried to reduce the number of fishing vessels to encourage fishing businesses to engage in larger-scale operations. However, both the number of total fishing vessels and the average tonnage per vessel have steadily decreased during the 2000s. Despite the government’s effort, the aim to increase the size of vessels has not been accomplished.