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Fishermen

In 1950, the Belgian fishing fleet consisted of 457 boats, in 1980 there were 208 and in 2008 only 102. Some say that the fishing industry is being killed off by increasingly stringent European laws regarding fishing quotas, declining fish stocks, high labour costs and the price of diesel. Stephan Vanfleteren has photographed dozens of fishermen and listened to their tales of superstition, sadness, fear, storm, cold and alcohol, and the omnipresence of the sea. This is a tribute to fishermen with their lined faces, tattooed by the wind.