Currently, the sea of Jeju suffers not only from ocean warming but also from numerous other problems caused by overtourism. Ocean warming and overtourism are suspected factors that contribute to a phenomenon called ‘Whiting Event’, which occurs when calcium carbonate (lime powder) that has dissolved in seawater precipitates and sticks to the seafloor, or rocks, causing them to whiten. As a result, the sea is becoming an environment where seaweed cannot grow, which threatens seafood harvesting and the livelihood of the Haenyeos.
Jeju Island, located on the southernmost part of Korea, is a paradise island that many Koreans adore. Famous for its breath-taking nature, delicious food, and rich culture, more than 13 million tourists visit the island every year. Jeju is also known for Haenyeo, a profession of female divers that harvest sea life for a living. Dreaming of becoming a Haenyeo herself, Eunji Lee visits Jeju for her research on Haenyeo culture, and learns about the destruction of nature caused by human ignorance and short-sighted greed.