The government decided Thursday to build a fisheries exports processing complex in the country's southwest to increase exports and to aim for a larger number of overseas markets.
Key points of the plan, endorsed at an economy-related ministerial meeting, include establishing a sustainable production base, promoting value-added fisheries exports and supporting seafood companies and their exports, the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said.
The near-term goal is to increase exports to $3 billion next year from $2.13 billion this year while lowering the proportion of exports to three major destinations -- Japan, China and the United States -- to 55 percent from the current 63.7 percent.
The government will allow conglomerates to join the industry for products that require heavy early investment, such as salmon farming, ministry said.
A high-tech fish farm system will be adopted for stable annual production of over 2 million tons from 2020, it said.
There will also be efforts to manage coastal contamination through quality and sanitary control.
To support these goals, the government will build an exports processing complex in the port city of Mokpo, 410 kilometers from Seoul, to make it easier for seafood-related companies to start new businesses. A feasibility study for the complex will be completed within this year, and if found fit, the project will begin next year, according to the ministry.
Other plans include launching exports brand K-Fish for online advertising and increasing the number of exports support centers throughout the country through joint participation by regional companies and governments.
"We expect our plan to transform the country's fisheries industry into a value-added exports industry, and in the long-term, bring economic effects through job creation and spurring of regional economy," Choi Wan-hyun, head of the ministry's fisheries policy office, said. (Yonhap)