How fishing disappeared from Termunterzijl

The old fishing village of Termunterzijl has a former harbour with both an old and a new pumping station. Millions of fish pass through the fish passage every year.

'Termunterziel' (Termuneter soul) is located by the Eems estuary and is surrounded by beautiful nature reserves, polder landscapes and the sea. It was originally a fishing village. It has a harbour and the historical ‘Boog van Ziel’ lock.   

From 1900 on, fishing expanded in Termunterzijl. Depending on the season fisherman caught shrimp, flounder, dab, sole and herring. Smelt and sometimes anchovies were caught in the autumn. In 1955 Termunterzijl was the third largest shrimp harbour of the North, after Zoutkamp and Harlingen.

In the 1960s neighbouring Delfzijl expanded and many fishermen chose industry over fishing. A few fishermen continued to sail but in the 1980s this number gradually declined. The very last sea fisherman set sail from the harbour of Termunterzijl in 2001. The visserijmuseum (Fishery Museum) is the only reminder of this time.

The harbour is now a beautiful place to take a walk. Walk towards the dike and admire the vibrant colours of the marshlands. And afterwards you can try a delicious marshland sandwich or salad 'van ’t Wad' with a plethora of sea delicacies at Hotel Restaurant Termunterzijl.

They actually do still fish for shrimp in Termunterzijl. Vispaleis Westerhuis has regular shrimp-peeling demonstrations. Fun to watch and very handy to learn if you're a shrimp lover. 

Although most of the fishing activities are gone now, you can still eat excellent fish in and around Termunterzijl and Delfzijl. For example, at the Eemshotel, De Kleine Zeemeermin or Restaurant Brasserie Ziel. Do you want to learn how to peel shrimp quickly and effectively? Vispaleis Westerhuis gives demonstrations on a regular basis.

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