South Korea is looking for a new English name for ‘eomuk’, a fishcake

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South Korea’s ocean ministry said Sunday it will hold a contest to find a new English name for Korean-style fish cakes to promote the processed seafood around the globe.

The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said the move is intended to find a better English name that represents the unique texture and taste of South Korean fish cakes.

Exports of Korean fish cakes, called “eomuk” here, came to $57 million in 2017, up 18 percent from $48 million two years ago, ministry data showed, with the number of workers in the industry estimated at around 11,000 as of 2016.

“We plan to find a new English name that helps global consumers better understand South Korean fish cakes, which will eventually lead to higher sales of the products,” the ministry said.

The government announced a blueprint to foster the local fish cake industry in December, which aimed at inducing local firms to use more domestically produced seafood and rendering the fish cake as one of the country’s new major export products.

While fish cakes were consumed mostly as a side dish in the past, a growing number of South Koreans are enjoying them as snacks, with demand for premium products also on the rise.

The ministry said the South Korean market for fish cakes is currently estimated at around 1 trillion won ($840 million), and is set to expand to 2 trillion won by 2030.

Applicants can participate through the website ( through July 19.

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