Haenyo literally means ‘sea women’, and is a centuries old tradition on the island of Jeju, 53 miles south of mainland Korea. Women diving for conch, octopus, urchin and abalone, because if their men did it, they’d have to pay taxes, and that wouldn’t make it profitable. The reason for them being mostly grandmas today, is because it unfortunately is a dying trade.
Imagine, 17 meters down, holding your breath for two minutes each time, having to be able to ride a wave for 3 meters, if you want to be called a real ‘haenyo’. Only once a day, but for 7 to 8 hours :-)