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Clean East Sea Dying

Posted August. 09, 2001 08:33,   


The bottom of the East Sea becomes desolate like a desert. Compared with the seas of South and West, the East Sea is known for its cleanness. However, the bottom of the East Sea loses a lot of seaweeds that are absolutely needed for the living conditions of fish. This is so called `Sea Desert`.

These observations were confirmed by a research team (led by Professor Myung, Hyungok, 52) of Maritime Resources Department of Pohang 1 College, who investigated the 50 km span from WolpoRi, Chungha-Myeon to Shinchang-Ri, Changki-Myeon of Pohang with 15 – 25 m below sea level along with 4 scuba-divers from July 20 to August 4.

The team surveyed ten spots in the areas of Wolpo, Pohang, Honghae, Youngil Bay, Donghae-Myeon, and Kuryougpo, in which the peripheral areas of fishing grounds, such as fixed fishing net fishing ground (distanced by 500 m – 1 km) and hemming fishing ground, were inspected in detail.

They found that the bottom of the sea appeared a sort of playground covered with hazy colors without seaweeds (e.g. sea lettuce or green laver). The bottom of the sea, where seaweeds should live, looked so desolate that nothing might return the vital conditions.

Aside from the sea desert, the junk nets, which were piled near the fences of the fishing grounds, were covered with starfish, not with seaweeds. This indicates how much the sea ecosystem has been destroyed. There were just two spots with seaweeds, in which man-made seaweeds had been implanted.

Professor Myung said, ``Since there is no oxygen in the sea ground, the sea bottom had become desert like which the seaweeds perish. As the spoiled and waste water from various plants and houses in land flows into the sea continuously, the sea ground is believed to be dying.``

He pointed out, ``The sea ground, which became sea desert, should be turned over in order to recover the ground power, which is similar to the method for the cultivation area. Once we launch such cleaning activity nationwide, we may expect the ecosystem to be revitalized.``

Meanwhile, Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (MOMAF) estimates the losses of ocean resources due to the sea contamination to be 360 billion won per year. Chun, Jaehong, Cleaning Officer of Maritime Preservation of MOMAF, said, ``To reveal the cause and measures about the sea desert, which is so called `Whitening`, we conducted an investigation of 146 samples from South, West and East Sea ports from last year until last March.``