The fishery has always been important here. Towards the end of the 16th century the Zoutkampers were already fishing at sea in small open boats. In the 19th century they fished mainly for haddock and herring. In 1839 the Zoutkamper fishing fleet consisted of twenty boats. 

(c) Jorgen de Bruinj

After 1920 fishing was done for the first time with steam trawlers on the North Sea. It was in this period that shrimp fishing also increased in importance. Shrimp were caught not just for consumption but also to be processed into cattle feed. Once the last trawler left Zoutkamp in 1938, shrimp fishing became steadily more important, to be quickly followed by the catching and processing of shellfish. After 1945 Zoutkamp developed into the centre for Dutch shrimp fishing.
Once Lauwersmeer was closed off in 1969, the Zoutkamper fleet moved out of necessity to Lauwersoog. Nowadays it is there that the fishermen offload their fresh shrimp (cooked on board). Once a year, on Vlaggetjesdag (Pennants Day - Whit Monday) the fleet pays a visit to Zoutkamp harbour.
There are three professional fishermen active on Lauwersmeer. They fish for eels using traps and baskets.

Visit the fishery museum for more information about the history of the Zoutkamper fishery


Closing off the Lauwers Sea