| Marine Protected Area: 23/12/2002|
| Marine Protected Area|
original upload date: 23.12.2002
MARINE PROTECTED AREA DESIGNATED OFF SOGWIPO
The sea off Sogwipo City including the islets of Supsom, Munsom and Pomsom had been designated a Marine Protected Area (MPA) by the Korean Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and that part of it is being investigated by the UNESCO to become a Biosphere Reserve Area. On December 5th and 6th, 2002 the workshop was held in Sogwipo on the management of the newly designated Sogwipo Marine Protected Area. The workshop was hosted by the Korean Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (MOMAF) and the US American National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Presentations were given by speakers from NOAA who explained how they manage their MPAs in Monterey, the Channel Islands, and in Hawaii. The Korean speakers explained scientific, legal, economic and political aspects of designating and managing an MPA in Korea. Some speakers identified threats to a healthy eco-system in the MPA such as: suspended material from construction work (extension of the harbor`s breakwater), pollution from wastewater, unsustainable fishing, recreational divers breaking coral and bringing up silt (poor buoyancy control , sic!), the tour-submarine (being the main factor to destroy coral and other benthic marine life as it touches the ground), littering from commercial fishing boats, etc.
Being the only place in Korea where tropical and subtropical marine life can be found in abundance there was little dispute that the area is worth protecting. The general idea is to gain higher acceptance from stakeholders and local residents by an educational and, therefore slow, process that changes their way of thinking about the ocean towards conservation. This will not change the situation of conservation right on the spot but it is a good and reasonable start.
Source: http://bigblue33.co.kr, Ralf Deutsch젨
photo by Lee Wooncheol