The project “Ocean Fishing” is a photo story about the reality of fishermen and their daily work, how they go about their lives at sea and also a description of what type of fishing methods they work with. The six photo essays from Iceland, Greenland, Faroe Islands and Shetland were published in my book ‘Images of Fishermen: the North Atlantic’. A couple of years later I enlarged 30 selected photos from the book for the travel exhibition, ‘Ocean Fishing – Six Trips on the North Atlantic’, which was initiated by the Swedish-Faroes Society with the Nordic Culture Fund as main sponsors (see video ‘Latest Exhibition’).
This work took approximately two years, counting everything — from shooting two days to two weeks on the boats to editing the photos afterwards. I would edit from thousands of photos from these six fishing photo essays, and later I would edit down to some 200 photos for the production of ‘Images of Fishermen’.
Successfully launched at the National Maritime Museum in Stockholm in 2008, the exhibition continued to Nordatlantens Brygge in Copenhagen and Fiskeri- og Søfartsmuseet in Esbjerg 2009, followed by Víkin — Sjóminjasafnið, Reykjavík, in 2010. Most recently, the exhibition was held in Greenland, at the Katuaq — Grønlands Kulturhus and the Nordic House in the Faroes.
Many people asked me afterwards why I did it. One main reason was the fact that only very little documentation seems to be available when it comes to life at sea and commercial fishing and its impact on the daily life for so many people.
What also strikes me is that in big cities, it seems many people don’t know much about how fish are caught and brought to market. I didn’t know much myself in the beginning but after a while I started to understand more and discovered how fascinating this topic really is.
During these six trips in four different countries I covered fishing methods that included benthic and midwater trawling, pair trawling, gill-netting, and longlining. It all depends on the type of fishery, species targeted, and the type of vessel.