The Netherlands have quite a number of small fishing communities, especially in the northern part along the coast of the Wadden Sea which is directly connected to the North Sea. A row of islands forms the border between the North Sea and the Wadden Sea which makes the latter fairly attractive for fishing when stormy winds prevent boats from entering the North Sea.
The Dutch beam trawl fleet counts less than 65 vessels. In less than two decades the size of this fleet has shrunk significantly. In the southwest part of The Netherlands there are still some small fishing ports from where every Monday morning a number of beam trawlers are heading to the fishing grounds in the southern part of the North Sea which is known by very strong tidal currents.
Gijs Duijndam lives in the old Dutch fishing village Katwijk. He raised up in a real salty climate. He is member of a fishing family. His father, uncles and older nephews used to be fishermen on small herring drifters, pelagic freezer trawlers and beam trawlers. During that time the whole family was depending on fishing. Grandfather and great-grandfather were also fishermen. They used to fish on sailing smacks and later herring drifters. In those days his grandfather was first mate on the biggest steam trawler (side winder called ‘Vios’) of Ymuiden, the most important fishing port of The Netherlands. Nowadays just two nephews from Gijs are working on pelagic freezer trawlers.
Battista Sanguedolce lives and works in Rimini, a famous seaside resort close to the tiny principality of San Marino. Hailing from a long line of fishermen originally from Lampedusa in the southern Mediterranean, Battista began fishing with his father 33 years ago at the age of 13.
David Stevens runs the family owned, 20 metre trawler Crystal Sea, along with his brother Alec. He has been fishing for nearly 25 years, but his family’s fishing heritage goes back to the 13th Century.
James Locker, from England, is the captain of the seven strong crew on the pair trawler OUR Lass III, part of the of Lockers Trawlers fleet. There are three generations of fishermen in James’ family, including his father, Arnold Locker, owner of Lockers Fish and Trawlers and ex chairman of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisation.
Joseba Arego Uriel
Joseba Arego Uriel has been a fisherman for 38 years. He operates out of the Province of Castellón on a 49m catamaran with 12 other men. Catching mainly anchovies and some sardines, Joseba’s working day starts at around 10pm. That’s because he and the crew fish overnight. Often they get back to port around eight o’clock in the morning to unload their catch at port, before preparing the boat ready for the next night.
Joaquín Gandón Sotelo
Joaquín Gandón Sotelo is the manager of Spanish fishing company Hermanos Gandón. It operates three vessels between 54 and 77 metres in length. It fishes in the North Atlantic and catches more than 30 different species of fish including Greenland halibut, skate, grenadier and red fish.