The Last Horse Fishermen of Belgium

The Last Horse Fishermen of Belgium

A few hardy souls in Oostduinkerke carry on this 500-year-old tradition of trawling for shrimp on horseback in the North Sea. (The Guardian)

Once a profession practiced by hundreds of fisherman all around the North Sea, horse fishing is a dying trade and few remain to carry on the tradition. Oostduinkerke, Belgium is the only place in the world where the 500-year-old tradition is still practiced.

Horse fishing is a major tourist attraction for this seaside resort town and the local tourist board helps subsidize the fisherman in hopes of keeping the tradition alive. The horses pull carts out into the ocean waves, dragging behind them nets for catching shrimp just as it was done in 1500.

This video by the UK’s Guardian is narrated with an interview of one of the last remaining fisherman of Oostduinkerke. Striking images and natural sound punctuate the story as the fisherman describes his work, the horses, the dwindling number of shrimp and the realization that as much as he likes his job, it is a dying tradition.

CHANNEL: The Guardian

Length: 4:15

Executive Producer: Babak Payami
Filmed, Directed and Edited by Alex Healey
Sound and Interview by Cosimo Bizzarri