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Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology

KIOST Discovers Rare Subtropical Fish Species doryrhamphus off Dokdo Coast

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  • Date : 2020-12-10
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Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (president Kim Woong-seo, KIOST) announced the discovery of a rare subtropical fish species doryrhamphus off the coast of Dokdo Island. This species resides largely in warm coastal waters off Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, and northern Australia. In Korea it has only been observed on the southern coast or off Jejudo Island.


A research team led by senior researcher Myoung Jung-goo has studied marine life for the preservation of ecosystems of Dokdo Island and the island’s coastal habitat since 2006 in a research project called “Sustainable Use of Dokdo .” Dokdo’s coast is a point of confluence of cold and warm water currents, with numerous rocks of various sizes and biota that varies with the season and water depth. The research team has discovered 189 species of fish, spearheading efforts to monitor and study the ecological characteristics of marine life.


Recently, near Dokdo Island’s Samhyeongjegul Rock (Three Brothers Cave Rock), the team discovered doryrhamphus with three round yellow spots on its tail. Like seahorses, the male of the species spawns fertilized eggs in the  marsupium of its abdomen and protects them until incubation. The research team said, “So far, we have discovered 10 species of tropical and subtropical fish, but this is the first time both adult and young fish have been found at the same time.” This suggests that the doryrhamphus was hatched off the coast of Dokdo Island; it is possible that as water temperature rises, more subtropical fish species will settle off the coast of the island.


Principal research scientist, Park Chan-hong, Director of KIOST’s Dokdo Research Center remarked, “In addition to its national political importance as Korean territory, Dokdo Island is biologically significant because the variety of its marine life.” He added, “Going forward, KIOST will continue its research of Dokdo Island’s marine environment, ecological changes, and biota as we lead efforts to preserve the island’s natural resources.”



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Last Update : 2021-02-17