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''Preparing for sovereignty over marine resources through surveys''

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  • Date : 2013-07-22

'Preparing for sovereignty over marine resources through surveys'

- The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries holds a forum on marine biological resources surveys -

 

 

□ response to growing international competition to claim marine biological resources, Korea will soon come up with a strategy to steadily and systematically secure its own marine biological resources.

 

              The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (Minister Yoon Jin-sook) has announced that a forum will be held, on July 23, concerning the plan to conduct marine biological resource surveys. This seminar is necessary to promote the marine biotechnology industry and to listen to opinions on the plan from the marine biology industry, academia, research organizations and the government.

              The forum will be jointly organized by the Korea Institute of Marine Science and Technology Promotion (KIMST) and the Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST), under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries. It will be attended by about 80 people from the marine biology industry, academia, research organizations and the government.

              Dr. Gang Gil-mo of KIOST will give a presentation on the plan to conduct marine biological resources surveys, which will be followed by in-depth discussions involving representatives of universities, research organizations and the Task Force for the Construction of the Marine Biological Resources Center.

 

□ It is essential to secure marine biological resources in order to develop the marine biotechnology industry, which has incredible potential to create new value.

 

              It is estimated that about 500,000 species of marine life, which is approximately 80% of the total species on the planet, inhabit the seas, but less than 1% of them are being utilized or developed for use. This shows the high development potential of marine living resources.

              For this reason, the new Korean government has designated the creation of new marine industries, through the development of marine biological resources, to be one of its main tasks, and is emphasizing its importance.

              In particular, when the Marine Biological Resources Center is completed in early 2014, the management of marine living resources, which is currently being handled by several universities and research organizations, will be integrated under the center. This will provide much needed momentum towards the development of marine biological resources in Korea.

 

 

□ However, since the Nagoya Protocol*, many countries have been stepping up efforts to secure sovereign rights over marine biological resources. In order to cope with this situation, Korea needs to conduct systematic marine biological resources surveys in all of its seas.

 

            A total of 92 countries signed the Nagoya Protocol as of December, 2012, and 11 of them have already ratified it. Korea signed the protocol on Sept. 20, 2011.

              The Nagoya Protocol will enter into force 90 days after the 50th country ratifies it.

 

* Nagoya Protocol: Users of traditional knowledge associated with biological genetic resources are subject to prior informed consent of the party providing such resources. Benefits derived from the utilization of such knowledge are to be shared in accordance with the mutually agreed contract.

 

 

□  The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries has said that Korea’s marine biological resources surveys will be focused on securing marine living resources and exploring the possibility of utilizing them.

 

              Korea has conducted many marine-related surveys, such as the basic survey on marine ecosystems, coastal wetland research, and long-term research on marine ecosystems. However, these are different from marine biological resources surveys in that they are aimed at preserving and managing the marine environment.

               The marine biological resources surveys will be conducted under the "Act on the Securement, Management and Utilization of Marine Biological Resources," which was enacted in July, 2012. The surveys are aimed at comprehensively and systematically securing, managing and utilizing marine living resources. They will also serve to support the sustainable development of these resources and the strengthening of Korea’s sovereignty over marine resources. The surveys will be conducted in all of the seas under Korea’s jurisdiction once every five years, beginning in 2014.

 

□ An official of the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said, "It is necessary to secure marine biological resources to create new marine industries in the future, and the ministry will provide all possible support, including an increase in the budget, professional manpower training and the establishment of necessary infrastructure."

 

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Last Update : 2019-11-19