I've never gone out with the intention to build a portfolio of images portraying the inshore fishing industry. Nevertheless I have one, quite simply as a function of the types of location I've been to these last fifteen years or so. I like the sea and most things that come with it, and so places like Newfoundland, Faroes, Nova Scotia etc have been logical destinations for me - not just because of the fishing, but certainly including it.
It would be grand if I could tell you that the sort of small-scale inshore fishing I photograph is in rude health, but I can't. Quotas, declining catches, fish farming and large-scale factory fishing all take a major toll. The incidence of a fisherman sailing daily in home waters, maybe with his son, or brother or friend, and returning to prepare their catch for sale in a wooden shack is in sharp decline, though it can still be seen often in areas off the beaten track where other employment opportunities are sparse. They need to be a lot more flexible these days, switching from cod to bass to lobster and so on as seasons and quotas dictate. I doubt it's a way to get rich, and its certainly not a way to source fish cheaply, so increasingly there are signs that the fishing has indeed gone. Disused fishing boats pile up on Brittany's shoreline. A fair proportion of the fishing boats I see don't look like they move much, and many of the little brightly painted fishing shacks and tiny jetties are not exactly hubs of activity. Still it exists, and probably will, on a limited scale, for a while yet though I doubt that many youngsters are coming into it now.
I need to add also that my perceptions of fishing often include murky weather. Some of these photographs were taken in rain. Others in dull, overcast conditions. The odd gleam of light is nice, but I tend to avoid bright skies and summery light for this subject.