A Trawler’s Life

Lorraine Turci

You have to be able to stay the course.
The fishers are stuck inside a metal box
on an unpredictable sea for days on end.
It’s a job you do out of passion,
you can’t be afraid of working long hours.“

Lorraine Turci

On one hand, there’s the sea stretching out toward the infinite horizon, lungfuls of fresh air and the extraordinary sensation of simultaneous immortality and extreme vulnerability as the swollen, sea-foam-crusted waves toss the boat like a leaf in the wind. On the other hand, there’s the lack of sleep, the disorientation, the infernal pace of the work, daily life in a hostile, unpredictable environment… Not to mention that seasickness strikes even the youngest for whom being overwhelmed by this exhausting imbalance of the inner ear in relation to the field of vision is one more ordeal. 

The dark side of a job that for many years has kept the work of deep-sea fishermen ranking high amongst the world’s most dangerous professions. This also means that this magical career, which many think of as synonymous with adventure, increasingly struggles to recruit members of the younger generations.

To bear witness to life on a trawler, Lorraine Turci spent time aboard two boats: the Dolmen, a brand-new trawler, and the 35-year-old Men Gwen, both of which are moored at Keroman, a fishing port in Lorient, France. Lorraine Turci, the young French photographer chosen to complete this latest project for the Morbihan Departmental Council, and who has also received funding from the National Library of France, displays the strong sense of composition and eye for detail that characterises the best documentary photography.

By spending time side by side with these seamen, to the point of almost becoming part of the team, she has produced images so close to her subject that you can almost smell the sea spray, diesel fumes, rusting metal, fresh fish and cigarette smoke. This is the work of survivors. A work founded on expertise and heritage. It’s the simple yet astonishing story of people who live at sea. 

Photographic commission made with the supportof the Morbihan Departmental Council. 
Thanks to Jean Piel, communication Manager of the Morbihan Marine Fishing and Fisheries Committee, without which this work would not have been possible.
Thanks to the crews of the Dolmen, the Men Gwen, the Côte d’Ambre, the Izel Vor II and the Lycée Maritime d’Étel.

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