The method makes use of the horse's strength to
pull a fishing net through the shallow waters of Oostduinkerke,
a natural habitat to grey shrimp (Crangon crangon), just before
and after low tide.
While centuries ago it was also used in northern France, the
Netherlands and the south of England, now only 15 Belgian
fisherman in the village use the UNESCO-recognized method
several times a week, drawing tourists from all over the world.
The fishermen say, however, that each year they pull more and
more plastic waste out of the water.
"We see that the population of shrimps is going down every year.
We catch a lot of plastic these days. Little plastic pieces,
wraps, bottles are common things to see in the net," said
Katrien Terryn, whose boyfriend Dominique Vandendriessche has
fished for 20 years.
"I think we are at the point where the pollution and plastic in
the ocean will become a bigger problem. We will see the
consequences more and more in upcoming years."
Fishermen separate shrimps at the beach by hand and take out
only the big shrimps, returning the smaller ones to the sea.
(Reporting by Alexandra Regida; editing by Jan Strupczewski and
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