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New species of organisms discovered in Dokdo

Posted August. 13, 2015 07:28,   


Five species of invertebrate, which have not been identified worldwide, and three species that have not been registered in Korea, have been newly found among organisms living naturally in waters around Dokdo islets.

The Environment Ministry and the National Institute of Biological Resources said on Wednesday, “A survey of indigenous organisms living in Dokdo, which had been conducted since 2013, identified a total of 1,576 species of organisms growing naturally. They include pretty hair Bivalvia group, Donsiella n. sp., and Coullia n. sp. (tentative name), which have been discovered for the first time in the world. Also discovered are ghost-scaled lugworm, Astrabe fasciata, and horidorongi sea minsungi (tentative name), which remain as unregistered specifics due to lack of verified species sample in Korea.

The institute plans to give these new species scientific names indicating Korea’s easternmost islets of Dokdo and announce their discovery in the academic community beginning in the second half of this year. The institute gave names, including ‘dokdonia Donghaensis,’ to two new species that were discovered in Dokdo in 2005.

The government judges that such attempts will give Korea justification to claim sovereign right to Korean biological resources in line with the U.N. Convention on Biodiversity’ in the event of territorial dispute over Dokdo. A good example is the case of territorial dispute between Malaysia and Indonesia over Sipadan Islands in Southeast Asia. To back up its claim of ‘effective sovereignty,’ Malaysia continued efforts to manage and protect organisms living wild on the island, including legislation of an act to protect wild turtles in Shipadan Island, and had its sovereign right recognized by the International Court of Justice in 2002.