Terneuzen is a town and municipality in the province of Zeeland. Its population was 55,387 on January 1st 2004. The municipality is situated in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, on both sides of the Canal Ghent-Terneuzen estuary into the Westerschelde, and comprises the villages of Biervliet, Hoek, Sluiskil and Zaamslag, along with a number of smaller villages and hamlets. As from January 1st 2003 the municipality of Terneuzen is joined with the municipalities of Axel and Sas van Gent. This made Terneuzen the biggest municipality of Zeeland when it came to population. In the surrounding areas a lot of people are employed in agriculture, horticulture and cattle breeding. There is a large amount of industry along and northwest of the Canal Ghent-Terneuzen. Ships, machines, electrotechnical equipment and articles, packing material and chemicals are produced here. Terneuzen is of considerable importance to the eastern part of Zeeuws-Vlaanderen as a cultural centre. Between Biervliet and Hoek lies the Braakmanpolder nature reserve and recreational area. East of Terneuzen lies the Otheense Kreek recreational area, and the Mauritsfort nature reserve is situated in the Van Wuyckhuisepolder.