Braving Troubled Waters

Sea Change in a Dutch Fishing Community


This ethnographic study considers the engagement of Dutch fishermen with the limited resources of the marine world, as well as the capricious markets and political interventions that govern the fishing industry from the early eighteenth-century to the present day. More specifically, it focuses on the owner-operators, deckhands, fishermen’s wives, and others involved in the fisheries of Texel, an island at the northwestern end of the Netherlands. Elucidating how the fishermen have navigated treacherous waters, in both a real and metaphorical sense, for many decades, Braving Troubled Waters offers a portrait of a community at the interface of local, national, and supranational processes.