The purpose of this study is to analyze the impacts of the rapid rise in oil prices on fisheries economy. Even though fishery oils are tax exemption items, such increase in oil prices put a great amount of pressure on Korean fishing operations. Because basically the recent oil shock is externally given, Korean fisheries themselves have little capacity to cope with the disruption of economic environments. The research results turned out that Korean fisheries are extremely vulnerable(or fragile) to external shocks. In this regard, government support issues of oil costs are in the center of debate. It is widely recognized that direct/indirect government financial supports or subsidies would result in economic inefficiency in expense of equity. However, there are second best theories which may justify government intervention into the markets. This second best theory is translated into the constitutional law that instructs the government to protect and promote the primary industries including fisheries, agriculture, and midium/small-scale enterprises. It is apparent that the constitutional law would provide the government with a variety of policy instruments such as more active buy-back programs, tax exemptions and technological development to deal with fisheries economic hardship due to the external pressure such as high oil prices and international fishery orders.
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