findes i Fiskeri- og Søfartsmuseets arkiv.
Morten Karnøe Søndergaard:
Teknologisk udvikling i
dansk fiskeri 1945-2000
, 2004, p. 78.
Bent Rulle:
Østerby Fiskeriforening 1931-2006. I luv
og læ
, 2006, p. 26.
Claus Jacobsen:
A/S Læsø Fiskeindustri 40 år. 1963-
, 2003, p. 22-26.
Danmarks Statistik, folketal pr. 1. januar fordelt på øer,
Læsø 1950-2005.
Op. cit.
Maja Bejlegaard & Stig Petersen:
Kragerne vender -
tilbage: fire udkantsamfund i udvikling
, p. 95.
Eksempler herpå er bragt i
, 5. årg. nr. 2, 1974.
Følgende titler: ”Kysthede, fiskerbygd, industrilandskab”
og ”Bua - en kutterhavn ved Kattegatkysten”.
The small island of Laeso is situated in the northern part of
the Kattegat between Gothenburg and Frederikshavn. The
island is a traditional maritime community, for centuries
distinguished by its inhabitants having had to secure their
living from the sea. Starting in the early 1960s, a special-
ised fishery for Norwegian lobsters (Nephrops norvegicus)
was developed by the local fishermen. Hitherto this kind of
fishing had been little noticed and only considered of minor
importance. Progress was slow in the early years as more
traditional forms of fishing, especially Danish seining, were
still in favour. However, new processing methods, an im-
proved infrastructure and a growing market meant that by the
early 1970s, the majority of local fishermen took up fishing
for Norwegian lobsters. The fishing was relatively lucrative,
despite which the fishery remained almost totally dominated
by Laeso fishermen for several reasons. Firstly, the fisher-
men had to stay on the island to be able to run the fishery
properly. Secondly, the Norwegian lobster fishery required a
detailed knowledge of the local conditions of the seabed, as
it was a “trawling-in-pockets” fishery. Thirdly, in the early
years the most successful gear was produced locally on the
island. Of course the fishery was open to everybody, but
most outsiders who attempted to enter the field ended up
severely damaging their trawls and trawl doors. However, as
technologies grew more advanced, the “natural protection”
was outweighed, and more fishermen also entered the Nor-
wegian lobster fishery because other fisheries - especially
the industrial and cod fisheries - were put under pressure by
the EU quota system. For a number of years the local Laeso
fishermen managed to keep the competition at bay by guard-
ing their knowledge, but also increasingly by rationalising
their own efforts. Most fishing boats were organised around
a family pattern, being run by father and son, or two sons
and perhaps a third crew member. This type of organisation
meant that in times of crisis, longer periods of low earn-
ings could be carried since they were kept within the same
household. In the heydays of the 1970s the majority of boats
had been able to dispense with the third crew member, so
by the early 1990s the majority of boats were run by a two-
man crew. This together with the increased outside pressure
caused some local fishermen leave the fishery, but compared
to most other Danish fisheries, the Laeso fishery was still
going strong, reflected by the fact that a few young newcom-
ers decided to invest heavily. By the late 1990s, structures
had, however, begun to change. Competition was fierce, and
the earlier rationalisations meant that the recruitment of new
fishermen was at a low point. The natural family recruitment
had stopped, and the remaining fishermen were faced with
a choice of further rationalisations or committing to invest-
ments. The latter alternative was favoured by the young, who
decided to make fishing their livelihood in the early 1990s.
The former alternative was favoured by elderly fishermen,
or fishermen who were unable or unwilling to recruit new
crew members. In both cases, the result has been clear to all
since the beginning of the new millennium as the local fleet
diminished drastically in numbers. The smaller boats run by
a skipper have disappeared one by one - or will be likely do
so - in the decade to come. The larger boats have moved their
main activities to other ports. What was once a specialised
local niche fishery carried by the strong and family-based
form of organisation has thus been split into pieces and ab-
sorbed by the capital-driven engines guiding most present
day fisheries.
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