The last of the weir fisherman

The Netherlands is a country steeped in fishing tradition, and one of the most unique and ancient methods is the weirfishery. This method of fishing uses the movement of the tides to trap anchovies in specially crafted weirs. When the water recedes, the fisherman, like Cor van Dort, collect the fish in the fuik and then transfer them to the ship.

Cor van Dort is the last Dutch anchovy weirfisherman, and he has dedicated his life to this traditional way of fishing. He began working in the weirfishery when he was just 15 years old, and after 60 years, he is still going strong. His family has been fishing this way for hundreds of years, passing down their knowledge and skills from generation to generation.

The weirfishery is a demanding job that requires hard work, bravery, and dedication. Fishermen like Cor must work all year round, cutting the wood for the ling sticks in the winter and preparing the weirs on the sandbank when the season is right. The work doesn’t end there, as they must also guard the nets during high tides to protect the fish from birds who dive in for a feast.

Despite the challenges, Cor remains dedicated to the weirfishery. He knows that the salty anchovies are a delicacy in the region and he takes pride in his work. He loves the sea and can’t imagine giving it up. “I have no hobby,” he says, “I’ll never stop fishing. The sea is my life.”

The story of the last Dutch anchovy weirfisherman, Cor van Dort, is a testament to the rich fishing traditions of the Netherlands and the perseverance of those who dedicate their lives to this ancient and demanding way of life. Through photo and film, we aim to capture the beauty and the challenges of this traditional method of fishing and pay homage to the last anchovy weirfisherman, Cor van Dort.