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The sountel (hand net) fishery system for gathering marsh clam in Seomjingang river

Summary

Marsh clam is the main resource of Seomjingang River Estuary, which hosts the largest population. It is a freshwater clam that lives mainly in clean water with proper salinity (3-20%) and sandy brackish water. The marsh clam is gathered through the traditional fishing method, The sountel (Hand net) Fishery, in which a person directly enters a river and gathers marsh clams by scraping the riverbed with a tool called Georangyee and introduced them in a large floating rubber tub tied to the waist. 

The Sountel Fishery takes place on the estuary area of the river, in the provinces of Hadong and Gwangyang, as other fishing activities based on river oyster, river crab, sweetfish, etc. The river is surrounded by mountain and plains, and it forms a brackish area that faces the sea, creating rich and diverse ecosystems.  The river, mountain, plains, and sea in combination with each other, have allowed the emergence of outstanding cultural landscapes where the livelihood activities of the residents take place most actively. Seomjingang River maintains a symbiotic system that circulates organically between the river, ecosystems, and people and the fishing method is known as eco-friendly for keeping Seomjingang River Estuary ecology healthy.