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The species composition and distributions of subtidal marine algae on the east coast of Korea were studied. We examined all species found in permanent quadrats at three depths (3m, 5m and 10m) at Sacheon between October 2008 and December 2009. Coverage and frequency data were collected monthly via underwater photography and analyzed using a modified photo quadrat method. Of the 82 species identified, 10 were chlorophytes, 21 were phaeophytes, 50 were rhodophytes, and one was a seagrass. The largest number of species (59) was found 10 m deep, while the fewest (39) species were present at 5m. A total 17 species (two green, five brown, and 10 red algae) occurred at all three depths. The vertical distribution of the study site was characterized by the melobesioidean algae, Ulva pertusa, Sargassum confusum, Phyllospadix iwatensis, and Codium arabicum at 3m deep, melobesioidean algae and U. pertusa at 5m deep, and Corallina pilulifera, Prionitis cornea, Chondracanthus tenellus and melobesioidean algae at 10 m deep. Given that coralline algae such as melobesioidean algae and C. pilulifera play important roles in coastal ecosystems, thorough studies on the spatial and temporal variations of coralline algae and the dynamics of marine algal communities on the east coast of Korea are now required.