Ancient Bamboo Fishing Traps Lure Tourists to South Korean Shores | Be Korea-savvy

Ancient Bamboo Fishing Traps Lure Tourists to South Korean Shores


NAMHAE, Jun. 21 (Korea Bizwire) – The “jukbangyeom,” an intricate bamboo fishing trap system with a 500-year history, is drawing throngs of tourists to the coastal waters of Jijok Strait in Namhae County, South Gyeongsang Province.

On June 20, several visitors to Namhae gathered at an observation deck overlooking the jukbangyeom installations, marveling at the real-life structures and informational displays explaining this ancient fishing technique. 

Timed to coincide with optimal tidal conditions, the tourists watched intently as local fishermen, including Park Dae-gyu, a 64-year-old with 25 years of experience and the head of the Namhae Jukbangyeom Preservation Society, busily hauled in glistening anchovies from within the bamboo traps. 

Despite the overcast skies preceding the rainy season, most fishermen worked alone, venturing into the jukbangyeom traps.


After nearly 20 minutes of clearing seaweed from inside the traps, they installed large funnel-shaped dragnets to begin fishing. Sweeping with handheld nets, they pulled out hundreds of silvery anchovies from the dark dragnets.

Park described the process as “wrapping with the dragnets,” and within 20 minutes of netting, four 20-kilogram boxes were filled to the brim with the glistening catch, which also included other fish like hairtail. 

The jukbangyeom fishing season runs from early April through late December, with each trap generating between one and three hauls per day, yielding as much as 600 kilograms of anchovies.

This traditional method, dating back to the Goryeo dynasty, involves constructing V-shaped wooden frames and bamboo barriers in narrow, fast-flowing channels to prevent fish from escaping. There are currently 23 such installations in Namhae and 21 between Namhae and Sacheon.


The anchovies caught in jukbangyeom traps are prized for their unblemished scales and superior quality. Additionally, since the fishing takes place close to shore, minimal salting is required, improving the freshness of the catch.

Recognized for its historical significance, distinctiveness, excellence, and ecological value, the Namhae Jukbangyeom system was designated as South Korea’s 3rd National Important Fishery Heritage in December 2015. 

Jijok Strait, where these ancient traps are located, is one of three experiential travel destinations in South Gyeongsang Province selected by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and the Korea Tourism Organization for its “Travel in June” campaign encouraging domestic tourism.

Image credit: Yonhap /

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