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NOAA’s Earth Observatory does an image puzzler of the month where they post Landsat 8 images from their Operational Land Imager (OLI) satellite. April’s image turned out to be a twofer: a very cool image of South Korean seaweed cultivation AND in the citation was a fugitive document “Seaweed Cultivation of Korea” published by NOAA as part of their Korea-US Aquaculture site. See Colossal “Fascinating Satellite Photos of Seaweed Farms in South Korea” for more images. Please go to the LostDocs blog if you’d like to find out more about fugitive documents and how to be a fugitive docs hunter.
The dark squares that make up the checkerboard pattern in this image are fields of a sort—fields of seaweed. Along the south coast of South Korea, seaweed is often grown on ropes, which are held near the surface with buoys. This technique ensures that the seaweed stays close enough to the surface to get enough light during high tide but doesn’t scrape against the bottom during low tide.
The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 acquired this image of seaweed cultivation in the shallow waters around Sisan Island on January 31, 2014. Home to a thriving aquaculture industry, the south coast of South Korea produces about 90 percent of the country’s seaweed crop. The waters around Sisan are not the only place where aquaculture is common. View the large image to see how ubiquitous seaweed aquaculture is along the coast in Jeollanam-do, the southernmost province on the Korean peninsula.
Two main types of seaweed are cultivated in South Korea: Undaria (known as miyeok in Korean, wakame in Japanese) and Pyropia (gim in Korean, nori in Japanese). Both types are used generously in traditional Korean, Japanese, and Chinese food.