South Korea

South Korea is a large market for Norwegian Mackerel and Salmon. On this page you can find information about our activities in the market, our plans for 2024 and the latest statistics.

The South Korean seafood market

The South Korean seafood market offers a dynamic landscape for various categories, each holding unique opportunities and challenges for Norwegian exporters. Right now the Norwegian Seafood Council's office in Japan is responsible for activities in South Korea. Our seafood envoy in Japan is Johan Kvalheim, who works alongside manager Mia Sæthre Bernhardsen. In the shellfish segment, particularly King and Snow crabs, the market presents a complex environment, featuring a 20% tariff on live Russian crabs while exempting live Norwegian king crab. The overall market stability contrasts with uncertainties surrounding post-Fukushima water releases and changing dynamics. The market trend leans towards sourcing safer seafood options, notably from Norway. Norwegian king crab, despite facing challenges from Russian imports, holds a distinct position, while Norwegian snow crab encounters low awareness among consumers and the value chain, hindering its market presence.

In the salmon segment, the South Korean market holds a critical position for Norwegian exports. Norwegian salmon dominates with a market share of nearly 90%, benefiting from tariff exemptions and streamlined health certificate procedures. However, fluctuating pricing has positioned salmon between an everyday protein and a luxury item, prompting retailers to seek diversification. The market shift towards Western eating habits, smaller household sizes, and convenience-oriented products signifies a change in consumption patterns. Despite Norwegian salmon's strong foothold, potential threats emerge from changing consumer sentiments, local production initiatives, and competitive sources.

The mackerel seafood market in South Korea presents both opportunities and challenges. With a 10% tariff for Norwegian mackerel compared to 0% for UK/EU imports, the market faces complexities amidst decreased consumption influenced by concerns regarding water releases from Fukushima. Norwegian mackerel holds dominance in the Atlantic mackerel segment, despite challenges of stagnant consumption figures in 2022. The market's potential is marked by challenges, including competition from lower tariff rates and the changing family structure in South Korea. Norwegian mackerel, recognized for its quality, seeks effective differentiation and leveraging the "Seafood from Norway" label for sustained growth and reduced associations with regional seafood.

Conferences and seminars

Latest news from South Korea

    News archive


    Seafood exports to South Korea


    Check out our marketing assets for South Korea

    Activity plan salmon

    Download our activity plan for 2024.

    Activity plan salmon 2024

    Activity plan pelagic

    Download our activity plan for 2024.

    Activity plan pelagic 2024

    Activity plan shellfish 2024

    Download our activity plan for 2024.

    Acitivty plan shellfish 2024

    Market access

    Latest news about market access

      News archive

      All Norwegian seafood exporters need to be registered at the Norwegian seafood council

      Exporters can register via our website. The estimated time to process the application is around 1 week from the day of the application.

      Fill out the form


      The Norwegian Seafood Council's office in Japan is responsible for all activities in the South Korea. The director in Japan is Johan Kvalheim.

      5-12-2, Minami Azabu, Minato-ku
      Tokyo 106-0047

      +81 80 4812 8643