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Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology

Previously unrecorded Korean species of Pholis nebulosa family discovered in Dokdo waters

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  • Date : 2021-10-25
Figure 1. Photo of the unrecorded Korean fish species “seven-stripe tidepool gunnel” (tentative name) 바로보기

Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST) President Kim Woong-seo announced that an unrecorded Korean species* of the Pholis nebulosa family has been discovered in the waters surrounding Dokdo. The species has been tentatively named the “seven-stripe tidepool gunnel,” and the institute plans to publish an academic report on the finding soon.
* “Unrecorded Korean species” refers to one previously found in other countries, but has now been identified in Korea.


This discovery was made by Myoung Se-hun, a researcher at the KIOST Dokdo Research Center, who discovered this fish species hiding in a crevice of a rock at a depth of 20 meters during underwater scientific exploration conducted at “Big Sea Lion Rock (keungajebawi),” which is located to the north of Seodo (western islet of Dokdo). He collected the specimen, an adult fish with a body length of 5.4 centimeters and marked with seven lateral lines against a brown body color, using a hand net. This fish species was first discovered in the southern part of Russia (Peter the Great Bay) in 2011 and has been known to inhabit the northern part of the East Sea. This discovery extends the southern limit of the distribution of this species to Dokdo.


Last April, the KIOST research team discovered Donghae Neoclinus bryope in Hokdomgul Cave, an underwater cave on the coast of Dokdo, in the East Sea. This recent discovery of a new species fish is meaningful in that it increases national fish diversity and strengthens Korea’s sovereignty over its marine life. Researcher Myoung Se-hun conducted an analysis on the species and genetic characteristics of the seven-stripe tidepool gunnel, and determined that it is an unrecorded species in Korea. He is planning to present the research results to Korean academia.


The KIOST Dokdo Research Center (Director Park Chan-hong) was designated as a research institute dedicated to Dokdo in 2006 and is contributing to the management and use of Dokdo’s marine resources and consolidation of Korea’s territorial sovereignty through systematic, comprehensive marine science research on the waters surrounding Dokdo. The center is conducting various tasks, including the: production of Dokdo marine territorial data and creation of seabed territory maps, monitoring of ecological biodiversity and coastal habitats in the waters surrounding Dokdo, and discovery of new anti-cancer substances, among others.


KIOST President Kim Woong-seo said, “Dokdo is valuable not only as a part of Korean territory, but also because it has conditions suitable for a marine life habitat.” He went on to add, “We will continue conducting research to monitor changes in the marine environment and ecosystem of Dokdo and discover and preserve marine organisms in the area.”



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Last Update : 2021-07-19