those in peril on the sea... Terrifying images of fishing boat being
battered by 30ft waves in the far North Sea show dangers faced by our
trawlermen every day
The next time you pop out for a cod and chips, spare a thought for the men who caught your dinner.
amazing images show a fishing boat being hurled about by gale force
winds in the North Sea as the crew battles to keep control.
Caught in mountainous 30ft waves, the state-of-the-art Harvester ploughs through relentlessly to collect cod and plaice.
the team, it is just another trip -
part of the daily life of the unsung heroes who harvest the ocean, as
men from Peterhead, north-east Scotland, have done for the last
Fortitude: North Sea trawlermen have been
fishing like the men on this boat in some of the world's most
unpredictable seas for hundreds of years
Lashed by waves: The state-of-the-art Harvester is part of the Lunar fishing fleet from Peterhead, north-east Scotland
Struggling: The skipper is almost entirely submerged by water as it steers through the stormy waters
Danger: The trawlermen have a daily struggle
with the elements every time they leave the shelter of their home ports
on the UK's north-east coast
Using the power of her 900hp engine,
the skipper has to steer a
safe course for the 90ft-long vessel, part of the Lunar fishing fleet.
And at times, the boat almost
disappears in the yawning troughs between the huge waves.
Peterhead is one of the biggest
trawler communities in the region, where, against the odds, fishing is
still the main industry employing more than 500 men and where 100,000
tonnes of fresh fish are landed every year, despite dwindling stocks of
cod, plaice and other fish that used to be bountiful in the area.
Earnings are just as risky as the job
itself as wages are split between the crew and the vessel depending on
how great a haul of fish they manage to bring in.
Some crews could be
out at sea for long periods - months at a time - depending on the
Against the odds: Peterhead is one of the
biggest trawler communities in the region, where fishing is still the
main industry employing more than 500 men and where 100,000 tonnes of
fresh fish are landed every year, despite dwindling stocks of cod and
Making waves: Using the power of her 900hp engine, the captain has to steer a safe course for the 90ft-long vessel
Here comes another one: Life in the fishing
grounds can still be a dangerous challenge - as these remarkable
pictures clearly show
once a trawlerman was almost guaranteed a high gain after hauling in
tonnes of fish, these days typical earnings are plummeting.
FOR THOSE IN PERIL
striking images evoke the famous naval hymn 'Eternal Father, Strong to
Save', whose refrain 'For those in peril' has become an anthem for
British and US Navy and US Marine Corps.
original hymn was written by William Whiting of Winchester, England, in
1860. It was originally intended as a poem for a student of his, who
was about to travel to the United States.
The first verse is based on psalm 104 in which God forbids water to flood the earth:
Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!
was the favorite hymn of U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt and was sung
at his funeral in Hyde Park, New York, in April 1945. The Navy Band
also played it in 1963 as U.S. President John Kennedy's body was carried
up the steps of the U.S. Capitol to lie in state.
According to a report by the Seafish
Industry Authority, some two thirds of fishing fleets pay their
fishermen less than the average UK wage.
The North Sea is under great pressure
as numbers of cod, plaice, haddock, salmon and prawns - the 'Big Five'
popular fish - fail to satisfy demand.
Consumption of these breeds makes up 75 per cent of total fish consumption in the UK.
And Herring, cod and plaice fisheries may
soon face the same plight as mackerel fishing which ceased in the 1970s
due to overfishing.
Part of the issue is that rules
to protect the stocks of fish, such as limited fishing times and limited numbers of fishing boats
have not been systematically enforced.
town of Grimsby on Lincolnshire's east coast once laid claim to the
title of the 'largest fishing port in the world', with a fleet of over
700 trawlers and the rail links from the town to London's Billingsgate
Fish Market allowed Grimsby fish to be renowned nationwide. Today
Grimsby's fish docks are virtually deserted, though the towns port is
still a hive of activity for cargo vessels.
Peterhead has been t
largest fishing port in Europe from the 1970s onwards. In its prime in
the 1980s Peterhead had over 500 trawlers staying at sea for a week each
seen a significant decline in the number of vessels and the value of
fish landed has been reduced due to several decades of overfishing which
in turn has reduced fishing quotas.
month, Tesco announced it would offer new,
sustainably caught seasonal lines such as cuttlefish, octopus, Dover
sole and squid in response to widespread concerns about over-fishing.
of the new fish varieties will be caught in and around British coastal
waters, particularly in the south west of England.
Initiatives like this one will take the
pressure off the North Sea, but could also see Peterhead's fishermen
struggle further as the south west begins selling more fish in its
Hang on: The Harvester trawler hurtles straight into the oncoming swell and takes on board a flood of seawater
Gone fishing: The Harvester is a
state-of-the-art part of the Lunar fishing fleet, seen here caught in
mountainous thirty-foot waves
Despite that tragic proportion, officially, the most dangerous job in the world
is commercial fishing, with an annual death rate of 116 per 100,000
Back on course: The ship begins to right itself as the worst of the storm passes on
And the trawlermen's jobs are set to get even more difficult...
are likely to get smaller on average by 2050 because global warming
will cut the amount of oxygen in the oceans, according to a study.