The horse shrimp fishers of Oostduinkerke


The shrimp fishery, both by horse or on foot, is practiced at low tide for about 2 to 3 hours a day. The horse fisher in his typical yellow jacket and high boots sits in a wooden saddle on his horse that draws the heavy garland mesh.


The horses drag a wooden box through the water. In the past, mostly tough mules were used, which were mostly known for their stamina. Nowadays, the fishermen use a bunch of draft horses of the Brabant or Ardens breed. These calm and strong animals are excellent for doing the hard work.


The horses fishermen, sitting high on their rugged farm horses when they plow through the waves. Occasionally horse and fisherman get on the dry to pour the contents of the net into the grains attached to either side of the horse.


Since December 4, 2013, the shrimp fishery in Oostduinkerke, at the Belgian coast, is added to the UNESCO representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity.

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