The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has added the time-honored fishing practices of Jeju’s female divers to its list of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS).
According to Jeju officials on Friday, the decision was made during a three-day General Assembly meeting held at the FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy.
The fishing practices of Jeju’s female divers, or haenyeo, were designated Korea Important Fisheries Heritage No. 1 in 2015 and a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2016.
Jeju’s haenyeo dive without breathing apparatus to collect seafood such as conch, abalone and seaweed. They can remain underwater for over a minute at depths of ten meters or more.
The FAO said the haenyeo’s fishing practices represent the world’s only fishery managed solely by women, adding that the system's primary purpose is to serve as a source of household sustenance rather than commercial gain.