Fortitude: North Sea trawlermen have been fishing like the men on this boat in some of the world's most unpredictable seas for hundreds of years The next time you pop out for a cod and chips, spare a thought for the men who caught your dinner. These amazing images show a fishing boat being hurled about by gale force winds in the North Sea as the crew battles to keep control. Caught in mountainous 30ft waves, the state-of-the-art Harvester ploughs through relentlessly to collect cod and plaice. For the team, it is just another trip - part of the daily life of the unsung heroes who harvest the ocean, as men from Peterhead, north-east Scotland, have done for the last 400 years.
Lashed by waves: The state-of-the-art Harvester is part of the Lunar fishing fleet from Peterhead, north-east Scotland Using the power of her 900hp engine, the skipper has to steer a safe course for the 90ft-long vessel, part of the Lunar fishing fleet. And at times, the boat almost disappears in the yawning troughs between the huge waves. Peterhead is one of the biggest trawler communities in the region, where, against the odds, fishing is still the main industry employing more than 500 men and where 100,000 tonnes of fresh fish are landed every year, despite dwindling stocks of cod, plaice and other fish that used to be bountiful in the area.
Struggling: The skipper is almost entirely submerged by water as it steers through the stormy waters Where once a trawlerman was almost guaranteed a high gain after hauling in tonnes of fish, these days typical earnings are plummeting. According to a report by the Seafish Industry Authority, some two thirds of fishing fleets pay their fishermen less than the average UK wage. The North Sea is under great pressure as numbers of cod, plaice, haddock, salmon and prawns - the 'Big Five' popular fish - fail to satisfy demand. Consumption of these breeds makes up 75 per cent of total fish consumption in the UK.
Danger: The trawlermen have a daily struggle with the elements every time they leave the shelter of their home ports on the UK's north-east coast
Against the odds: Peterhead is one of the biggest trawler communities in the region, where fishing is still the main industry employing more than 500 men and where 100,000 tonnes of fresh fish are landed every year, despite dwindling stocks of cod and plaice
Making waves: Using the power of her 900hp engine, the captain has to steer a safe course for the 90ft-long vessel
Gone fishing: The Harvester is a state-of-the-art part of the Lunar fishing fleet, seen here caught in mountainous thirty-foot waves
Back on course: The ship begins to right itself as the worst of the storm passes on
Back at harbour: The Peterhead fleet rest on calmer waters and on shore thousands of tonnes of fish are loaded up to be transported to the rest of the UK source: dailymail
For those in peril on the sea... Terrifying images of fishing boat being battered by 30ft waves in the far North Sea show dangers faced by our trawlermen every day
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