Seaweed farms in South Korea Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features Wando County, South Korea, where up to 1.7 million tons of seaweed are produced each year. South Korea is the world’s top exporter of Pyropia, red seaweed that is often used to make sushi.
The colors of small islands have been enhanced in the photograph. Certain shades and tones in the data have been separated and filtered to make water features more visible, with the darker colors representing deeper water.
The warm, shallow waters provide an ideal environment for raising kelp, laver, and sea mustard. About 90 percent of the seaweed consumed by people is farmed. South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula, and sharing a land border with North Korea. 25 million people, around half of the country’s population of 51 million, live in the Seoul Capital Area, the fifth-largest metropolitan area in the world. The Korean Peninsula was inhabited as early as the Lower Paleolithic period. Its first kingdom was noted in Chinese records in the early 7th century BCE. Following the unification of the Three Kingdoms of Korea into Silla and Balhae in the late 7th century, Korea was ruled by the Goryeo dynasty (918–1392) and the Joseon dynasty (1392–1897). The succeeding Korean Empire was annexed into the Empire of Japan in 1910
Seaweed is often grown on ropes that float near the surface with buoys. According to NASA, this technique ensures that the seaweed stays close enough to the surface to get enough light during high tide but does not scrape against the bottom during low tide.
The image was captured on February 21, 2021 by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory