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S. Korea takes special measures to fight red tide


SEJONG, Aug. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Tuesday announced a set of measures to prevent red tide from causing additional damages, which have already reached the second-highest amount in the country's history.

So far, the government has sprayed over 27,000 tons of yellow soil, which is said to help eliminate red tide, according to the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries. It has also mobilized nearly 4,300 ships and 9,770 people since a red tide alert was issued three weeks earlier.

Still, damages from red tide in waters off the country's southern coast alone have reached over 14 billion (US$12.5 million) with over 17 million fish killed at fish farms.

To prevent further damages, the government will allow for the early release of fish from fish farms when damages from red tide are evident, the ministry said.

However, fish farms will only be allowed to discharge young fish, and only after a quarantine inspection by the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute for any disease, to minimize their impact on the natural eco-system, Kang Joon-suk, deputy minister for fisheries policy, told reporters.

Fish farms forced to discharge their fish into the ocean may be entitled to a government subsidy of up to 50 million won, along with a special loan of up to 300 million won for each farm.

"The government is doing its utmost to minimize damages from red tide," Kang said. "It also plans to promote consumption of fisheries products, together with large discount outlets, to help damages to our fish farms."

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