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The Present and Future of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (Iczm) from the Aquaculture Viewpoint
Mi Seon Park
Director General, Aquaculture Research Department,
National Fisheries Research & Development Institute (NFRDI)
#152-1, Haean-ro, Gijang-up, Gijang-gun, Busan, 619-705
Republic of Korea, 2010-04-15

Abstract

The Korean government started purifying aquaculture fish farms in 1986 and related to this, a project was implemented in 1996 toward this goal. The "fish farm management law" was enacted in 2000 and a "fish farm management basic plan" was prepared in 2007 to set the goal and policy direction for fish farm management and lay the foundation for the promotion of multilateral policies for systematic preservation, improvement and management of fish farms. However, the project did not result in the systematic improvement of coastal environment of fish farms. The scientific analyses of the project performance were insufficient as well. In the future, Korea will have to formulate new alternatives to establish more systematic and developmental policies to manage fish farms after the actual conditions and poor points of the promotion of the purification of fish farms have been analyzed. Moreover, it is very urgent to rearrange and reshuffle coastal fish farms, based on their carrying capacity. Appropriate criteria for aquaculture from the environment viewpoint should be formulated in such a way that aquaculture will not be exposed to fish diseases and death and that fish farm will attain optimum productivity. The criteria must be based on fish farms' environmental capacity or carrying capacity which is scientifically calculated after considering the farms' ability to purify the eco-environment, the good flow of tides, and productivity correlation with neighboring fish farms. Also, criteria should be established considering the customary practices or current criteria and the eco-environmental characteristics of relevant fish farms. Appropriate criteria for aquaculture need to be formulated on the basis of environmental capacity, with comprehensive considerations to safety and hygienic standards of cultivated marine products, especially to various antibiotics and drugs administered to treat the diseases of aquaculture life, and the sub-criteria for the water discharged from fish farms and the raw feed used in them. To maintain good productivity of aquaculture, as part of integrated coastal zone management, poly eco-friendly aquaculture and offshore aquaculture shall be promoted in Korea in the future.

Key words: integrated coastal zone management (ICZM), poly eco-friendly aquaculture, offshore aquaculture

Introduction

Coastal areas in Korea have high level of bio-productivity and such geographical features are suitable to the aquaculture industry. The development of the aquaculture industry focusing on laver, sea mustard and other seaweeds started in the '60s; the development focusing on oyster, ark shell and other shellfish in the '70s; and the expansion and development of aquaculture with focus on high income-generating fish and shellfish as flounder, yellow tail, sea bream, pearl oyster, etc. in the '80s. About 50 varieties of marine creatures including oliver flounder, sea bream, black rockfish, oyster, ark shell, Manila clam, laver, sea mustard, seaweed fusiforme, sea squirt, shrimp, scallop, abalone, sea cucumber, etc.; and new varieties are now actively developed and diversified yearly.

On the other hand, since the 1960s, when industrial complexes began to be constructed in coastal regions on a full scale, the emission of contaminants has increased in large quantities. Moreover, large-scale land reclamation and landfill works in coastal areas have destroyed tidal lands and made coastal areas lose their self-purification abilities. Long-time repeated cultivation of marine creatures has resulted in the aging of fishing grounds and close planting has accelerated the eutrophication of coastal areas, especially, in the south coast. In particular, in some sea areas, repeated occurrence of red tides and oxygen deficient water mass (ODW) is observed, making it difficult to continually use sea areas as aqua farms.

The survey investigating the degree of contamination of coastal fishing grounds indicated that the fishing grounds of 57% of the respondents who were fishermen and government servants had been "somewhat contaminated," 14% said "much contaminated" and 3% said, "seriously contaminated." In other words, 74 % of all the respondents felt that their fishing grounds had been contaminated while 26% said their grounds had been well preserved (MOMAFF, 2006). Also, respondents said that sewage from households and wastewaters from factories were the two major causes of contamination. These causes accounted for 41% of the causes for the contamination. Aqua farms' self contamination accounted for 39%.

The contamination of coastal fishing grounds in Korea has continually lowered its productivity and the income from coastal fisheries like village fisheries, aquaculture and others has dwindled. A survey was conducted on the effect of the contamination of coastal fishing grounds on fisheries and 57% of the respondents said that the effect was not great, 22% said the effect was great, and 8% said the effect was really great. In contrast, only 3% responded that the effect was little. This implies that the contamination of coastal fishing grounds has had a great direct and/or indirect effect on fishing grounds.

Aqua farms' productivity per unit area (ha) was 8.1 tons in 1985, 9.2 tons in 1995 but only 7.3 tons in 2005. Speaking of fish varieties, with the help of the development of aquaculture technologies, the productivity of fishing grounds was increased 9.7 times in 20 years between 1985 and 2005. The production of shellfish decreased down to 64.7% in the same period and that of seaweeds somewhat multiplied ( Table 1(1616)). Specifically, the shellfish production continually declined because of the deterioration of the fishing grounds' environment.

The deterioration of the environment of fishing grounds not only lowers their productivity but threatens the hygiene or safety of marine products. It is thus urgent and important to improve the environment of fishing grounds to raise the productivity of marine products. To address the problems, the central government of Korea started in 1986 aqua farms purification projects, in which the wastes and other impurities deposited in the coastal fishing grounds were directly collected. From 1996, specially managed fishing grounds purification projects have also been executed. In 2000, the fishing grounds management law was established to preserve and improve the environment of fishing grounds, lay the foundation for sustainable production of fisheries, enhance the productivity of fishing grounds, and raise the fisher's income. . However, the projects to improve the environment of coastal fishing grounds have not been promoted systematically and the effects and the projects' results have not been scientifically analyzed.

New alternatives are suggested after the actual conditions and problems of the fishing grounds purification projects have been analyzed. Korea has to have more systematic and developmental policies to manage fishing grounds, relocate coastal fishing grounds based on their carrying capacity, and restructure coastal aqua farms.

Goals of Current Policies and Systems to Manage Fishing Grounds

Goals of the Policies

The foremost objective of fishing grounds management policy is to: (1) ensure efficient use, preservation and management of fishing grounds as expressed in Article 1 (Purpose) of the fishing grounds management law; (2) lay a foundation for sustainable productivity of fisheries; (3) improve the productivity of fishing grounds, and (4) increase the income of fishermen ( Fig. 1(1272)).

Management Systems

Fishing grounds comprise sea surface fishing grounds and inland water fishing grounds (the inland water surface including lake, dam and river, where fishing rights are established). Sea surface fishing grounds are managed by the Ministry for Food Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and inland waters fishing grounds by the Ministry of Environment. Here, fishing grounds means sea surface fishing grounds, which are more specifically classified into aqua farms and village fishing grounds. Most aqua farms and village fishing grounds are located in coastal areas, which connect land with ocean and which are vulnerable sea areas directly and indirectly affected by human activities taking place on the land. These areas are also the place in which fishermen conduct their industrial activities like aquaculture and into which the wastes generated from marine production procedure are discharged. Hence, in compliance with the fishing grounds management law, special management shall be applied to aqua farms.

Basic Plans for and Problems in Managing Fishing Grounds

Investigation into the Environment of Fishing Grounds

The first step for setting up basic plans for the management of fishing grounds is conducting scientific investigations into the environment of coastal fishing grounds. Every five years, the environment of fishing grounds shall be investigated to know each of the sea areas to be managed. However, the greatest problem is that no investigation has been recently made in the environment of coastal fishing grounds. Subsequently, any basic plan has not yet been set up for the management of fishing grounds.

Designating Sea Areas and Special Sea Areas for the Management of Fishing Grounds

According to the fishing grounds management law, local governments heads can designate sea areas to be managed, if needed, on the fishing grounds under their jurisdiction, and can designate specially managed sea areas, if needed, after investigations in the environment of fishing grounds. However, no scientific criteria distinguish the sea areas and the special sea areas, nor is there any concrete method to manage the sea areas, nor is there any system to take any strong administrative actions against the sea areas where there are violations to legal obligations.

Projects to Purify Fishing Grounds

The fishing grounds management law stipulates that any fisherman with fishing license or fishing permission shall collect and dispose of the deposits on fishing grounds in order to preserve and improve the environment of fishing grounds. Moreover, the Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries shall prepare yearly guidelines for purifying and maintaining fishing grounds and communicate these to the heads of local governments, which must set up plans for purifying and maintaining fishing grounds accordingly. Despite the provisions in the law, still some problems occur such as: (1) difficulty to reach concord among fishermen because each variety of fish has a different aquaculture period; (2) difficulty to analyze the effects of the said plans; (3) problems related to budget for purification projects and the allotment of the budget, purification and maintenance enterprises jumbling; (4) poor execution of the projects; (5) problems of current purification methods; and (6) difficulty in purifying aqua farms built on the tideland.

Simultaneous Renewal of License and Others

If the fishing license or permission of a fishing ground located in a specially managed sea area is cancelled or the effective term of the license or permission has expired and if the effective term of a neighboring fishing ground has expired, it is stipulated that the relevant license or permission shall be given to both fishing grounds at the same time. But the stipulation cannot be actually enforced if fishermen oppose it since there is no area designated as a specially managed sea area.

The Sabbath System for Fishing Grounds

According to the fishing grounds management law, the heads of smaller local governments can apply the Sabbath system for fishing grounds to the specially managed sea area whose environment has been severely contaminated and whose productivity is reduced. This is upon consultation with fishermen so as to suspend fishing for a certain period of time. When the system is in place, the local government can publicly announce and open the ground for fishing. Yet, in Korea, no such rest is practiced. The fishing grounds management law defines the concept of rest of fishing grounds to improve its environment. Furthermore, the Sabbath system is a very mandatory policy, whose implementation would reduce the income of fishermen during the rest period and there is no provision for the central or local government to support the affected fishermen.

Adjusting the Area and Location of Fishing Grounds

The fishing grounds management law stipulates that, if needed, the heads of larger local governments and smaller local governments shall adjust the area and location of the existing fishing grounds and a fishing license or permission will be issued for their use. The law also stipulates that, if investigations into the environment of fishing grounds revealed that the contamination of a fishing ground management sea area has gone beyond the limit of its self-purification abilities, a new fishing license or new fishing permission shall not be issued for the area. However, no fishing grounds management sea areas have been designated or investigated. Consequently, few adjustments have been made for the location and area of fishing grounds since they have to be made depending upon the results of investigations into the environment of fishing grounds.

Setting up Criteria for the Environment of Fishing Grounds

To protect the nation's health, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries shall set up the criteria for the environment of fishing grounds including the water quality, deposits or others and publicly announce the criteria so as to restrict or ban the capture, or collection of marine animals and/or plants. However, even though the current fishing grounds management law stipulates a mandate to set up the criteria for the environment of fishing grounds, Korea doesn't have this criteria yet because no concrete investigation on into the environment of fishing grounds has been conducted.

Fishermen's Management Obligation

The Presidential decree stipulates that any fisherman having license or permission for a fishing ground shall scatter marine seedlings or collect and dispose of the deposits on fishing grounds. Also, the law stipulates that the deposits shall be collected and disposed at least once every three years after the fishing license or permission is issued, and if necessary, the heads of smaller local governments can adjust the frequency of the cleaning of fishing grounds or extend the cleaning cycle from three to five years. The overall intent of the fishing grounds management law is somewhat inconsistent since the general gist of the law is to promote the preservation and improvement of the environment of fishing grounds, but the law concurrently stipulates the responsibilities of fishermen to manage their fishing grounds, spray marine seedlings, and clean their licensed fishing grounds.

Policy Directions for Efficient Management of Coastal Fishing Grounds

The policy directions towards efficient management of coastal fishing grounds has to be established . ( Fig. 2(1211)). To do this, first, a guidebook shall be prepared to investigate coastal fishing grounds and aqua farms and then investigation plans shall be set up accordingly. Second, comprehensive investigations on the actual condition of coastal fishing grounds including aqua farms shall be conducted. The comprehensive investigation comprises precise investigation into the environment of fishing grounds, the growth and production of aquaculture creatures, and the effects of the environment of fishing grounds on aqua farms. Third, based on the results of the comprehensive investigations, the environment of aqua farms shall be evaluated in detail. That is, in conformity with the results of the evaluation, the criteria for the environment of fishing grounds shall be set up, the quantity of aquaculture facilities calculated, and plans for the relocation of fishing grounds established. Fourth, an eco-map for aqua farms and others shall be produced. Based on the results of the evaluation of the environment of fishing grounds, sea areas shall be classified into types, schemes to manage each type drawn up, and relevant systems improved to implement the schemes. Fifth, considering the results of investigations into the environment of fishing grounds and the eco-map of fishing grounds, fishing grounds management sea areas and fishing grounds management special sea areas shall be designated. As said in the above, these sea areas have not yet been designated because investigations have not been made into the environment of fishing grounds. Sixth, fishing grounds management sea areas and fishing grounds management special sea areas shall be applied with specific policies to improve and preserve the environment of fishing grounds, such as simultaneous renewal of license and others, the Sabbath of fishing grounds, and the purification and maintenance of fishing grounds. However, a separate action shall be taken to encourage fishermen to clean their fishing grounds, which are not designated as managed sea areas.

Integrated Management of Coastal Fishing Grounds

Integrated management and restructuring of coastal fishing grounds is necessary for aqua farms to sustainably develop and improve the low productivity of old fishing grounds and aquaculture whose environment has been severely exhausted. It calls for ecosystem-friendly methods of integrated management aquaculture applicable to high cost and low efficiency aqua farms, whose environment has been deteriorated. The objective is to raise the productivity of aquaculture and ensure continuous aquaculture activities and shift to an environment- and ecology-based integrated management paradigm. To do that, appropriate criteria shall be set up to pursue after no-disease and no-perishing aquaculture and to realize an adequate density of aquaculture as closest to this ideal as possible. Appropriate aquaculture criteria shall be established based on the scientifically calculated environmental capacity or carrying capacity of fishing grounds in consideration of their ecology-environmental purification abilities, drainage of tides, production correlation with neighboring fishing grounds, etc. Here, considering the conventional aquaculture and/or currently used criteria, the criteria that are in harmony with the ecology-environmental characteristics of specific aqua farms shall be established. In other words, the formulation of adequate aquaculture criteria shall consider not only environmental capacity but safety and/or hygiene criteria for aquaculture products. Specifically, adequate aquaculture criteria will comprehensively consider the diseases of aquaculture creatures and/or various antibiotics or drugs to cure the diseases, wastewater discharged from aqua farms, and raw feeds for aquaculture.

Hence, in Korea, the aquaculture industry must be developed into income-based small-scale aquaculture (shallow-sea and inland sea-type aquaculture) in parallel with stand-alone enterprise aquaculture (offshore underwater aquaculture). Furthermore, coastal environment shall be protected and preserved by developing offshore large-scale aquaculture for such varieties as need be artificially applied with feed like fishes, while cultivating in coastal areas such varieties as need not be artificially applied with feed like seaweeds, shellfish, etc. ( Fig. 3(1109)).

Poly-Culture

Poly-culture is not "mixed culture" which simply breeds more than one kind of creatures but breeding in a certain place the varieties whose vertical biotope is different and/or which do not compete for food because their foods are different.

The National Fisheries Research & Development Institute has researched on the development of complex aquaculture in four sea areas (south East Sea, middle West Sea, south West Sea, and South Sea) and generated results, which can be utilized as guidelines for reasonable and effective development of aqua farms. Since the feasibility of poly culture is recognized, the Fishery Act and the enforcement decree of the act have new provisions for poly culture paving the way for the development of poly culture. In recent days, experts seriously consider such polytrophic aquaculture comprising ecosystem circulation models based on food chain. For instance, seaweeds are cultivated around aqua farms with inclosing nets, so that the seaweeds may absorb nutrients and prevent eutrophication of the farms while, on lower layers, breeding benthos such as sea slug and lugworm, which serve as a decomposer of feed dregs or excretory substances and, consequently, to establish an organic aquaculture system for all cultured creatures. Extractive aquaculture is applicable to seaweeds and shellfish, which draw out nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, etc.) and suspended solids from water, and fed aquaculture applicable to fish and shrimp, which require feeding. The principle of poly culture is very simple, since poly culture combines together the basic constituents of ecosystem and, as it were, connects producers with consumers. In this sense, poly culture (which applies a natural principle) of seaweed, fish and shellfish may be called environment-friendly ecosystem-based aquaculture.

Offshore Aquaculture

The paradigm of aquaculture is shifting from an industrial mass production type to an ecosystem-based productivity-increasing type. Major types of aquaculture are: sustainable, responsible, environment-friendly, ecosystem-based, and food-safety types. Now, other types than these cannot survive. Consequently, aquaculture for fish has to go offshore since it might cause fishing grounds to be contaminated. However, in Korea, fishes are mostly cultivated in conventional ways along the south coast where it is easy to maintain aquaculture facilities. As such, aqua farms are repeatedly damaged by typhoons and other calamities year after year. Moreover, it is feared that conflicts between marine enterprisers and local residents will surge in the coming years when people demand that coastal areas be used to promote sea leisure business and experiential tourism. Aquaculture shall provide the people with cheap, good quality and safe marine products from coastal areas, which are suffering damage caused by contaminated environment of coastal areas, red tides and diseases. For Korean aquaculture to get out of such problems means improving the existing aquaculture system and developing a new concept of aquaculture. The existing aqua farms in coastal areas shall promote ecosystem-based environment-friendly cultivation of seaweeds and/or shellfish while fish cultivation shall be performed offshore since their cultivation adds high value but costs great environmental defrayment.

One of the strengths of offshore aquaculture is that it can produce safe, very competitive and high priced foods. Offshore aquaculture can satisfy both the safety and environment-friendliness of marine products because it produces high-grade marine products from the clean open sea that has very great carrying capacity ( Fig. 4(1159)).

The success of offshore aquaculture depends on several factors. First, selection of the location is important. The sea environment including water temperature, water quality and tides should be considered if these are appropriate for breeding marine creatures. The sea should be safe against natural disasters including red tides and typhoons. The geographical conditions of the location including the distance to consumers, a field for seedling, and pier facilities should be determined.

The second factor is selecting the kind of aquaculture facilities. The facilities should be safe against red tide and storm, they do not impede ships' navigation and operation, and they are reasonably priced and convenient.

Third factor is the choice of fish varieties. Factors to be considered are: varieties' marketability, competitiveness with other varieties, suitability to the open sea, seedlings can be safely secured in large quantities, their growth phases, anti-disease ability, and adaptability to assorted feeds. Besides, issues related to relevant systems and cooperation with local residents shall be considered as well.

Re-Circulating Aquaculture

In land base-seawater aquaculture of fishes, stable breeding is sometimes difficult because of aggravated contamination of coastal environment caused by feed dregs, fish excretions, and deteriorated natural environment including red tides and typhoons. In addition, aquaculture expenses also rise because of excessive power costs brought about by the running-out of rearing seawater. This calls for researches on re-circulating rearing facilities, which use the minimum amount of rearing seawater, minimizes the quantity of foul water discharged into nature, use aquaculture facilities efficiently and employs automation equipment to manage aquaculture creatures.

Currently, running water land-based seawater flounder aquaculture has to circulate rearing seawater more than 20 times a day in summer, which costs too much energy. Moreover, such aquaculture will scarcely find good quality water. Dissolved oxygen is lacking and large scale of fish deaths may occur if red tide creatures appear in coastal areas. To avoid such troubles, re-circulating rearing seawater less than once a day is necessary.

The re-circulating system can artificially control breeding environment (temperature, ammonia, etc.) and so should select such high-grade fish as can rarely be cultivated because of environmental problems. Moreover, in order to construct a land-based mass production system for fish, an automatic management system for aqua farms shall also be developed.

Other Developments

In Korea, fish aquaculture uses various feeds, 20% of which is extruded pellet and 80% raw feed; 67% of raw feed is domestically produced. A Norwegian scientist named Stewart (1997) states that, in inclosing nets aqua farms for salmons, the loss of raw feed is three times more than that of extruded pellet and that their loss deteriorates the water quality. Apart from such a loss of the feeds, which contaminates environment, aquaculture primarily using raw feed may encounter many problems such as rise in feed prices due to lack of feed resources, over hunting of coastal resources to secure feed resources, changes in the quality of feed resources in the process of their distribution and storage, infection from germs, and others. To stably develop fish aquaculture, the issue on feeds should be resolved first, because feeds account for more than 40% of the expenses in aquaculture operation. To do that, diverse kinds of extruded pellet need to be developed and diffused. But, aquaculture fishermen avoid using assorted feed because of the feed's price and quality. It is imperative that high quality, cheap and less contaminating extruded pellet should be developed and extensively spread after the feed's performance is verified. A technology to develop highly efficient and less contaminating extruded pellet is to expedite the growth of fishes and reduce the underwater load of the pollutants (nitrogen, phosphorus, etc.) coming from raw feeds. This is the core of environment-friendly aquaculture technologies.

The aquaculture species' anti-disease ability dropped due to the deterioration of the water quality, high-density breeding, and the growing dominance of recessive creature varieties, and repeated occurrence of large scale mortality of the creatures. To control aquaculture diseases in an environment-friendly way, aquaculture creature' bio-defense mechanism should be identified, substances that improve aquaculture creatures' anti-disease ability, and relevant vaccines should be developed and put to practical use.

Reference

  • Ministry of maritime affairs and fisheries. 2006. 2005 statistical year book of maritime affairs and fisheries. Cree design Press, Seoul, Korea.
  • Ministry of maritime affairs and fisheries. 2006. A study on medium and long-run policy direction for efficient fishing ground management.
  • Stewart, J.E. 1997. Environmental impacts of aquaculture. World aquaculture magazine 28, 1: 47-52.

Index of Images

Figure 1 Goals of Fishing Grounds Management Policies.

Figure 1 Goals of Fishing Grounds Management Policies.

Figure 2 System to Promote Efficient Management of Coastal Fishing Grounds.

Figure 2 System to Promote Efficient Management of Coastal Fishing Grounds.

Figure 3 Mimetic Diagram for Integrated Management of Coastal Fishing Grounds.

Figure 3 Mimetic Diagram for Integrated Management of Coastal Fishing Grounds.

Figure 4 Installing Inclosing Nets for Offshore Aquaculture.

Figure 4 Installing Inclosing Nets for Offshore Aquaculture.

Table 1 Changes in the Production of Each Fish Variety from Aqua Farms

Table 1 Changes in the Production of Each Fish Variety from Aqua Farms

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