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A Study on Resources Circulation for Marine Debris of Aquaculture Farms
Report No. 2018-04 Research Manager Kyung Shin, Kim
File

▸ The paradigm of South Korea’s waste management policy has shifted from ‘waste management for creating pleasant living environment’ to ‘building resource circulation society for preparing climate change and the depletion of raw materials and energy’.
- In accordance with the Framework Act on Resource Circulation (took effect on January 2018), various measures were introduced including the resource circulation performance management, charge on waste disposal and the Assessment of Resource Circulation Utilization, and avoiding reclamation and incineration, while promoting recycling.
- As part of the policy to promote the development, usage and distribution of renewable energy, the government established the ‘Environmental-friendly Energy Town’. Driven by the Ministry of Environment, this area is equipped with infrastructures for switching waste resource into energy.
▸ However, recycling of aquaculture waste is conducted to very limited items including Styrofoam, laver drying screens and derelict fishing nets.
- Styrofoam buoys are recycled since treatment facilities (Styrofoam volume reducer) have been developed and distributed. Laver- drying screens made of synthetic resins are recycled because producers are easy to collect along with some fishing nets.
- Incineration facilities of marine debris are not commercialized since local governments have been unwilling to cooperate as well as problems surrounding the operation cost. In addition, technological development for turning waste oil into resource has not begun.
▸ Aquaculture farms have grown in South Jeolla and South Gyeongsang provinces. While seaweed such as laver and shellfish such as oysters are cultivated with hanging culture, rack culture and cage culture methods, fish farms are using fishing gears made of PP, PE and EPS.
▸ Derelict fishing gear of aquaculture farms has become the source of marine debris due to the following reasons;
- Derelict fishing gear needs high cost for collection and treatment, which also requires advanced technology. In addition, the range of generation varies per seasons as well as per year and has low value as waste resource.
- The classification of the type of waste (domestic waste, industrial waste) is not clear under the Wastes Control Act. The foundation is not sufficient in terms of disposal and storage facilities befitting to fishing communities as well as recycling. In addition, the number of private treatment companies falls short and the regulation concerning the unit cost of treatment is unrealistic.
- The commercial value of specialized treatment agency for aquaculture waste is low due to its small generation volume. Therefore, selecting an agency for entrusting the treatment is quite difficult.
▸ The US, Japan and Europe have made efforts to circulate and turn marine debris into resources. For this purpose, countries rearranged the recycling system for aquaculture waste, building an optimal system from collection to treatment.
- Representative cases include ‘Fishing for Energy’ of the US, promotion project for the management of floating and drifting matters in Fishing grounds of Japan and ‘Circular Economy package’ of Europe. These campaigns aim to recycle marine debris including aquaculture waste after recovering the energy or extracting resource material from the waste.
- Taking these into action, countries rearranged relevant regulations, while supporting the local governments or fishermen to treat marine debris. At the same time, countries have developed recycling technology and established a system from collection to recycling.
- Recently, the development of up-cycling products has generated the demand of marine debris as waste resource.
▸ The annual amount of aquaculture waste generated in Wando-gun stands at 25,679 tons, among which 70.3% are treated by systems such as recycling and incineration. However, 24.0% are left on land unattended, while 15.7% are carried away or dumped at sea.
- From the amount treated by the systems, 51.0% were recycled, 15.7% was incinerated while 3.7 was treated as waste by local governments.
▸ Resource circulation of aquaculture farms means having a circulation structure in which a local community, where aquaculture waste is generated recycles the waste or collects the energy and then gives back the benefit to local residents.
- Able to reduce non-recyclable resources or the use of energy
- Able to cut the amount of waste generated from aquaculture farms
- Able to collect energy from waste, which is not available for reuse or recycling
- The successful establishment of resource circulation model for aquaculture farms needs requirements for each step as follows;
▸ Technologies of resource circulation applicable to aquaculture waste are listed below;
- Buoy for fish farming: turning solid waste into fuel and refined fuel oil, thermal decomposition and turning it into hydrocarbon, source for recycled products
- Plastic and wood equipment and facilities for fish farming: thermal decomposition and turning it into hydrocarbon, source for recycled products
- Fishing net and rope: thermal decomposition and turning it into hydrocarbon, source for recycled products
- Organic waste (laver scraps, dead fish etc.): turning it into biogas or compost

Research Project Report 상세보기
A Study on Resources Circulation for Marine Debris of Aquaculture Farms
Report No. 2018-04 Research Manager Kyung Shin, Kim
File

▸ The paradigm of South Korea’s waste management policy has shifted from ‘waste management for creating pleasant living environment’ to ‘building resource circulation society for preparing climate change and the depletion of raw materials and energy’.
- In accordance with the Framework Act on Resource Circulation (took effect on January 2018), various measures were introduced including the resource circulation performance management, charge on waste disposal and the Assessment of Resource Circulation Utilization, and avoiding reclamation and incineration, while promoting recycling.
- As part of the policy to promote the development, usage and distribution of renewable energy, the government established the ‘Environmental-friendly Energy Town’. Driven by the Ministry of Environment, this area is equipped with infrastructures for switching waste resource into energy.
▸ However, recycling of aquaculture waste is conducted to very limited items including Styrofoam, laver drying screens and derelict fishing nets.
- Styrofoam buoys are recycled since treatment facilities (Styrofoam volume reducer) have been developed and distributed. Laver- drying screens made of synthetic resins are recycled because producers are easy to collect along with some fishing nets.
- Incineration facilities of marine debris are not commercialized since local governments have been unwilling to cooperate as well as problems surrounding the operation cost. In addition, technological development for turning waste oil into resource has not begun.
▸ Aquaculture farms have grown in South Jeolla and South Gyeongsang provinces. While seaweed such as laver and shellfish such as oysters are cultivated with hanging culture, rack culture and cage culture methods, fish farms are using fishing gears made of PP, PE and EPS.
▸ Derelict fishing gear of aquaculture farms has become the source of marine debris due to the following reasons;
- Derelict fishing gear needs high cost for collection and treatment, which also requires advanced technology. In addition, the range of generation varies per seasons as well as per year and has low value as waste resource.
- The classification of the type of waste (domestic waste, industrial waste) is not clear under the Wastes Control Act. The foundation is not sufficient in terms of disposal and storage facilities befitting to fishing communities as well as recycling. In addition, the number of private treatment companies falls short and the regulation concerning the unit cost of treatment is unrealistic.
- The commercial value of specialized treatment agency for aquaculture waste is low due to its small generation volume. Therefore, selecting an agency for entrusting the treatment is quite difficult.
▸ The US, Japan and Europe have made efforts to circulate and turn marine debris into resources. For this purpose, countries rearranged the recycling system for aquaculture waste, building an optimal system from collection to treatment.
- Representative cases include ‘Fishing for Energy’ of the US, promotion project for the management of floating and drifting matters in Fishing grounds of Japan and ‘Circular Economy package’ of Europe. These campaigns aim to recycle marine debris including aquaculture waste after recovering the energy or extracting resource material from the waste.
- Taking these into action, countries rearranged relevant regulations, while supporting the local governments or fishermen to treat marine debris. At the same time, countries have developed recycling technology and established a system from collection to recycling.
- Recently, the development of up-cycling products has generated the demand of marine debris as waste resource.
▸ The annual amount of aquaculture waste generated in Wando-gun stands at 25,679 tons, among which 70.3% are treated by systems such as recycling and incineration. However, 24.0% are left on land unattended, while 15.7% are carried away or dumped at sea.
- From the amount treated by the systems, 51.0% were recycled, 15.7% was incinerated while 3.7 was treated as waste by local governments.
▸ Resource circulation of aquaculture farms means having a circulation structure in which a local community, where aquaculture waste is generated recycles the waste or collects the energy and then gives back the benefit to local residents.
- Able to reduce non-recyclable resources or the use of energy
- Able to cut the amount of waste generated from aquaculture farms
- Able to collect energy from waste, which is not available for reuse or recycling
- The successful establishment of resource circulation model for aquaculture farms needs requirements for each step as follows;
▸ Technologies of resource circulation applicable to aquaculture waste are listed below;
- Buoy for fish farming: turning solid waste into fuel and refined fuel oil, thermal decomposition and turning it into hydrocarbon, source for recycled products
- Plastic and wood equipment and facilities for fish farming: thermal decomposition and turning it into hydrocarbon, source for recycled products
- Fishing net and rope: thermal decomposition and turning it into hydrocarbon, source for recycled products
- Organic waste (laver scraps, dead fish etc.): turning it into biogas or compost

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