Horse Fishermen in Oostduinkerke ©Toerisme Oostduinkerke, Westtoer
Alison Cornford-Matheson

Alison Cornford-Matheson

  • Job: Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer based in Brussels, Belgium and the editor of, a travel resource for expats.
  • Favorite destination: Canadian expat in Belgium
  • Likes:Alison loves to discover Belgium's hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She loves to travel the world with her husband, Andrew, and spend quiet nights reading with her cats and a glass of red wine. You can also follow her work on Google+

A special tradition that combines the power of horses and the will of men, to bring us a tiny, sweet gift from the sea – the Belgian Grey Shrimp.

Shrimp Fishing on Horseback at Oostduinkerke, Belgium

 Horse Fishermen in Oostduinkerke - ©Toerisme Oostduinkerke, Westtoer

Andrew and I joined the small group of tourists and locals gathered along the boardwalk of the small Belgian coastal town of Oostduinkerke. We were all there to see a sight once common along the Belgian and Northern French coast, which has now all but died out; except for here. We were waiting for the arrival of the Oostduinkerke Shrimp Fishermen, or paardenvissers, and their horses.

You may be wondering what horses have to do with shrimp fishing. The reason is exactly why our group was waiting on the beach. This unique tradition pairs man and beast against the sea (and the shrimp) and we were excited to see it happen .....

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