Mermaids are a demi-human race that live in the Island Nations region of the Kuknasi Sea. Contrary to popular belief, mermaids can live on land because they do have legs like humans but are unable to be seperated from water for prolonged periods of time.
Around the time of the Island Liberation War, the mermaid population had been devastated by the process of mermaid-hunting, an activity spearheaded by Cray Trading Company. Mermaids would be hunted and killed for their skin and scales. As such, those few surviving mermaids would end up living quite, secluded lives, terrified of human beings.
- Gensosuikoden Kiwami Encyclopedia, page 453