Establishing an Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin Protected Area in Jeju, South Korea

Photo credit; Hotpink Dolphins
Grantee Hotpink Dolphins
Grant Amount 47000
Duration 18 Months

Established in 2011 Hotpink Dolphins is the only NGO in Korea solely dedicated to marine protection. Since out establishment we have focused our efforts on changing social narrative on marine life away from ‘resource’ to coexisting ecosystem. Hotpink dolphins have 2 major projects in releasing captive marine mammals and protecting marine mammals in the wild in Korean coastal waters. Our major achievements include:

  • Releasing 7 dolphins including the iconic Jaedol to the Jeju waters. Out of the 7 released 5 have been confirmed to continue to survive in the wild interacting with the wild population.
  • Revision of Wild Life Protection Act to ban whale import into Korea
  • Revision of the Zoos and Aquarium Management Regulation to improve dolphin captivity conditions
  • Jeju Provincial Assembly rule against Daejung Offshore Wind development through critical wild marine mammal ecosystem protection campaign
  • Whale Resource Conservation and Management Regulation revision to reduce whale meat retail on protected marine mammal species (Whale and Bottlenose dolphins)

Project goals and objectives

The goal of this project is to protect the Daejung eup region of Jeogwipo coastal area as a Marine Life Protected Area (해양생물보호구역) by the end of 2023. This area of approximately 10km2 is the last frontier of IPBD habitat where recent sightings of IPBD has been concentrated. Existing Marine Life Protected Areas have been established to protect the Spotted Seal ecology in Garorim Bay and for the Finless Porpoise habitat in Goseung Haimyeon. In this regard Daejungeup fulfills the conditions for the Marine Protected Areas establishment to protect the IPBD habitat.

The project’s core objectives and interventions are as follows:

  1. MOF and Jeju provincial government advocacy to resume Marine Life Protected Area in Daejung eup area
  2. Build expert opinion and government support through at least two workshops
  3. Raise awareness among public and local communities and build local resident support
  4. Local community (Daejung eup, Seogwipo) engagement and MPA awareness raising through resident meetings
  5. Public facing campaign and communication to build public support on IPBD protected area