JEJU, Aug. 11 (Korea Bizwire) — Jeju Island’s aging traditional female divers known as ‘haenyeo’ are set to receive an allowance from the local government beginning in September.
According to a new ordinance enacted by the Jeju provincial government last month, aging haenyeo divers, who are also recognized as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO, will receive a monthly allowance of either 100,000 or 200,000 for those aged above 70 and 80, respectively.
Currently, there are 2,298 haenyeo who are older than 70, accounting for over half of the traditional female divers on Jeju Island.
Kim Chang-sun, the chief of the Bureau of Oceans and Fisheries, says, “Haenyeo who have contributed to the protection of the traditional fishing industry are facing issues of aging and a decline of resources in local fisheries.
“By providing an allowance to these aging divers, we hope to eliminate part of the economic burden that they face.”
Originally, a monthly allowance of 500,000 was proposed for new haenyeo, but the Jeju government then decided to take into consideration qualifications and age and gradually implement the measure.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)