Third fishing port of France, the harbour of Le Guilvinec in the South-West of Brittany has kept an authentic and small-scale feeling. Not the least because of its famous and one of the few remaining traditional fishing fleets in the country.
Every day between 16h and 17h tiny, coloured fishing boats show up at the horizon and drop off their catch of the day at the ‘Criée’, where the fish is sold to the highest bidder. This age old routine, leaving outsiders with an impression of both chaos and streamlined professionalism can be experienced from very nearby. Drawing visitors by the hundreds in summer, the purpose-built observation deck provides for an intense experience, just as the guided tour which takes people inside. The following images give an impression of the scene, from the local helpers waiting for the boats to arrive, the quick and efficient unloading of the catch, to the first steps in processing the products up to the buyers, via which it might end up on your plate at the local sea-side restaurant of your favourite French village.
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Local villagers are waiting for the boats to arrive.
The small, coloured fishing boats find their way back into the harbour of Guilvinec, every day around 4pm.
Crew routinely moor the boats…
… and take the catch of the day quickly ashore, in order to sell it in the best condition possible.
The scene is both chaotic and ordered. Within an hour more than 10 boats arrive, unload their catch and move over to make place for another boat.
Inside the ‘Criée’.
The guided tour brings visitors up close to impressive species, such as this ‘Sea devil’.
Presenting the catch to the buyers.
Overview of the auction hall.