In 1998, Photojournalist Peter Dench spent five days onboard The Allegiance, a 60 foot UK Scarborough-based trawler, fishing the North Sea, with a crew of five. The future has since become extremely bleak for the English Trawlermen; huge areas of the North Sea have been declared ‘off limits’ and fishing quotas have been slashed in an attempt to rescue dwindling North Sea stocks from the point of extinction. These measures have jeopardised the jobs of those in the industry and put dependent towns, like Scarborough, on the brink of ruin. Dench returned to The Allegiance in 2005 to be reunited with the crew and to find out how the decline of the North Sea fishing industry has affected their lives.
“Being a Trawlermen is tough; you spend weeks at sea and the income is unpredictable. Sleep is sporadic and the small bunks lie under the water line jammed next to the engine room. A metal box alone on the sea can deliver a feeling of vulnerability; in terms of fatalities, it’s the most dangerous job in the Britain.” Peter Dench
“Going to sea is like going to prison, with a chance at drowning besides” Samuel Johnson
Trawlermen was published today by Café Royal Books.
Please support Peter’s Kickstarter campaign which will allow him to publish a recent project, The British Abroad.