Fishing grounds

Mussel ship in action
Mussel ship
Fishing describes the  collective activity by which fish, mollusks, mammals, algae and weeds are drawn from the water, generally with the intention of their direct consumption as food. Some people fish to eat or sell the fish, while others fish just for fun. The fishing industry provides 10 million fishing jobs worldwide. Besides the fishers, millions of others have a job in the industry, since the fish that have been caught must be processed, transported, and sold. The fishing industry can be divided into sea fishing and freshwater fishing.

Sea fishing- In the Netherlands, sea-fishing has played a prominent role in the economy — especially in the 16th and 17th centuries when herring was an important export product. Large sea fishing focuses on herring and mackerel. To catch these fish, which do not live close to the sea bed, pelagic fishing methods are used. A large, four-sided floating net, which can be opened both vertically and horizontally, can be set at a depth where the fish commonly congregate. Pelagic fishing is employed throughout the year by Dutch trawlers, after which the fish is processed and frozen. Small sea fishing on the other hand makes use of cutters rather than trawlers, catching flatfish instead of herring and mackerel. Coastal fishing concentrates not only on fish, but also on shrimps. Mussel fishery is concentrated in the areas where mussels are cultivated — for instance, in the Oosterschelde.

Freshwater fishing- Most freshwater fishing in Holland occurs on the IJsselmeer (pronounced “EYE-sell-meer”), a large lake in the north of the Netherlands. The IJsselmeer used to be the Southern Sea, a shallow inlet of the North Sea, but became a lake and turned “fresh” after the Afsluitdijk was constructed. The IJsselmeer accounts for more than two thirds of the total area available for freshwater fishing (220,000 hectares). The most important freshwater fish are: pike, perch, bream, white bream, roach, rudd, ide and chub. Thanks to human intervention, rainbow trout live on a large scale in the Lake of Veere, the Grevelingen Lake, and Lake Den Briel. Salmon, sea trout and other migratory river fish have almost completely disappeared from the Rhine and Meuse rivers due to water pollution. Eels live on a large scale in the Dutch inland waters, especially in the IJsselmeer after it turned fresh.