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Law changes and Tuna Fund to boost fisheries

Feb 14,2019
To boost the fisheries business, which is dominated by smaller companies, the government is introducing measures to make it more attractive to younger individuals and large corporations.

A fish bank and a Tuna Fund are included in the plans.

The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries has said it will allow conglomerates to commercially raise tuna and salmon in order to expand the market.

It “will permit big companies to enter the farming of fish that require large-scale investment in facilities and technologies,” the ministry said in a statement. A press officer added the species are in demand in Korea.

Presently, the law limits the entry of companies with more than 10 trillion won ($8.9 billion) in capital.

Under the proposal, the oceans ministry said that it will also ease the criterion for acquiring a license for operating a fish-farming business.

To support younger aspiring fish farmers, the ministry will establish a bank specializing in facilitating transactions related to licensed fishing boats. The bank will also be tasked with evaluating fish farm asset values.

The ministry will begin studies on the new institution with the aim of launching it in 2022. In 2021 and 2022, the ministry will work on introducing the related laws for the bank.

Other plans include the introduction of a fund with exposure to the fisheries business, a move that is intended to help fisheries raise capital.

The Tuna Fund, which will focus on tuna fisheries, will be launched in the first half of this year. To protect fishery assets, the agency pledged to extend the range of damage insurance for related companies.

The size of state-backed loans with favorable interest rates and reserved for fish farmers will increase to 7 billion from the current 5 billion won.

The ministry will commit funds to parties with limited experience or to those interested in deploying advanced technologies.

In line with the policy, an integrated digital platform designed to manage smart farms will be launched in cooperation with the Ministry of Science and ICT.

BY PARK EUN-JEE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]