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* All the image sources: Yoon Ho-Kyung, Secretary of Gangjeong Village People's Council and other Villagers
1. While the navy plans to set up the naval base starting from here, the villagers do their annual work to protect water in the Gangjeong stream.
From the 1st day of May, Gangjeong villagers have another work beside farming in one of the busiest season and struggle against the Jeju naval base plan in their hometown- making the way for the school of the fry of the sweet fishes that would rise from the sea to the Gangjeong stream from where some of them may eventually go even to the Natgiliso, the source of the Gangjeong stream. The fry, without forgetting their home-the spawned pond- would, without fail, return back to the stream mostly during the first and second week of May, until they are pushed back to the sea again by the big rains in mid-October, a villager, Mr. Koh says.
The banners say:
'May 1, 2010__Making Fish Way for the Rising Sweet Fishes in the Gangjeong Stream:
Gangjeong Village People’s Council, Gangjeong Young People’s Council, and Poongrim Condo Inc.'
'Term: May 1, 2010 to May 31, 2010__Prohibition of Capturing the Rising Sweet Fishes in the Gangjeong Stream Gangjeong Village People’s Council, Gangjeong Young People’s Council, Gangjeon Women’s Council, and Poongrim Condo Inc.'
Yoon Ho-Kyung, Secretary of the Gangjeong Village People’s Council has the interview with the local media. It seems making the May water way for the sweet fishes is such the big annual job for the Gangjeong villagers. If the naval base is set up, the sea water can not anymore maintain its own natural flow. And the most cleanest and abundant water of the Gangjeong stream, in the Jeju Island, will lose the sweet fishes that clean the stream as well. The water of Gangjeong stream has fed the 70 % of population of the Seogwipo, the half, southern area of the Jeju Island. (Then what will happen if the naval base is set up, to the people in the half of the Island?)
So as the May started, the first work the Gangjeong villagers did was to make the fish way for the fry of the sweet fishes. Including the Mayor Kang Dong-Kyun and Secretary Yoon Ho-Kyung, all the strong men gathered in the stream as soon as they woke up in the morning of May 1. The sweet fishes help the water self-clean up by their eating the bog moss at the bottom of the stream. The villagers’ job was to help it, by making the easy water way for the sweet fishes that can not easily rise up at the steep rocky sites. By blocking the water ways in those sites with some sand bags while making the water way at the shelving site, the sweet fishes can easily rise up with many numbers, the villagers say.
2. The 1st tour course in the Il-Gangjeong (*meaning ‘Gangjeong, the best village in the Jeju Island) is the two streams and Ssugeunseom.
The work of lining sand bags toward the steep downstream of water, was told to start from 9am and to end at 12pm, noon. One can see the Ssugeonseom (or Seogun Island) in the back of the photo:
“Among many treasures of Gangjeong, Ssugeonseom(or Seogun Island), Gangjeong stream, and Acken stream are certainly the supreme. In the Ssugeunseom that is one of the few domestic sites where the Moses’ miracle happens, the sea water opens twice a day at every ebb tide.”
An information board near the Gangjeong stream says.
The downstream of the Gangjeong stream is steep. The water suddenly meets the sea water that the sweet fishes would ride on toward the upstream, only if the sea water is in enough flow tide. That is why the making the water way for the sweet fishes are needed. If not the sweet fishes can not easily rise to the stream.
The black spots are the fry of the sweet fishes that are staying in the sea water because of the steep rocks, Secretary Yoon says. Once the sweet fishes ride on, there will be about 20,000 to 30,000 sweet fishes whose numbers have been far shorten as the newly built sea walls in the Gangjeong port have somehow blocked the natural sea water flow and contributed to contaminate the water, artist Koh, whose home town is Gangjeong says. Probably in next week, we will see lots of the sweet fishes on the stream, villagers hope, after the finishing the work of making water way for the sweet fishes.
The red line on the map is the 1st Gangjeong tour course: From the Gangjeong stream and Ackeun stream to the Ssugeunseom. The green line is the 2nd Gangjeong tour course, the Joongduk coast
'Village of Water, Il-Gangjeong (*meaning ‘Gangjeong, the best village in the Jeju Island),_1st course
: The Sweet Fish and the Moses’ Miracle
Among many treasures of Gangjeong, Ssugeonseom(or Seogun Island), Gangjeong stream, and Acken stream are certainly the supreme. In the Ssugeunseom that is one of the few sites where the Moses’ miracle happen, the sea water opens twice a day at every ebb tide.
The Gangjeong stream that reserves the most abundant amount of water in the Jeju Island is the spawning pond of the sweet fishes, as well as habitat of the mandarin ducks, one of the natural memorials, because of its clean water.
Even though smaller than the Gangjeong stream, the Acken stream of which the name, ‘Acken’ came from the meaning of ‘the next’ has the role as the spawning pond for the sweet fishes as well, with its rich water.
Considering that there are little water-flowing streams [and no rivers] in the Jeju Island, the fact that the Gangjeong has the two streams where water flows for all four season has the precious value.
Exploring the Ssugeonseom at the time of the ebb tide then starting with the ‘Bongdoongiso’, going along with the water way, passing through the ‘Sowangmool’, the source of the Acken stream, then crossing the bridge again and going downstream from the ‘Natgiliso’ the source of the Gangjeong stream, one would eventually meet ‘Natkkak’ the downstream of the Gangjeong stream and the sea.
Along the way, you will see lots of the sweet fishes in many places. Eventually you will have the trip with the sweet fishes.
Gangjeong Village People's Council, Jeju Solidarity for Participatory Self-Government & Environmental Preservation, Sponsored by the Korea Land Institute, Jeju Regional Headquarter'
# Translator’s note: ‘So’ means ‘pond,’ ‘mool’ means ‘water,’ while 'seom' means Island
3. 'Metboori' is the cliff looking down the Gangjeong stream.
# The image sources from the 2nd to the 4th are No Base Stories ok Korea on April 19, 2010
If the flow tide of the sea water is very strong, the water even conveys the sands to the top of the vicinity high cliff called 'Metboori 'where the back sides of the makeshift fences and wire fences that surround the site for the ceremony for the planned naval base make the ugly look on this amazing spot. Villagers say such natural phenomenon is very rare in Korea or in the world. _______________________________________________________________________
4. Other lives to be remembered.
Joongduk, the villagers’ intimate comrade dog was named after the Joongduk coast. If the naval base is set up in Gangjeong therefore the Joongduk coast, the planned reclamation area near water, that is public owned, disappears with the ugly concrete, the dog, Joonduk’s fate will end, as well, villagers say.
Nameless flowers on the Metboori