“On the beaches of Texel only left shoes are ever found”

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The producers of the above video write:

Flotsam & Jetsam is a documentary based around the beachcombers of Texel, one of the largest Frisian islands north of Holland.

Due to Texel’s geographical position, tidal system and strong winds, an estimated two tons of Flotsam & Jetsam washes up on its beach each day.

The film follows the lives of the beachcombers (or Jutters as they are known), exploring their relationships and history as extraordinary people in extraordinary situations.

Beachcombers are people who ‘harvest’ flotsam and jetsam from beaches. I am not quite sure what the legal status is. Wikipedia claims beach combing is illegal in the Netherlands, but the only law text I could find (Book 8 of the Burgerlijk Wetboek, articles 550 and onward) seems to suggest that beach combing is a form of marine salvage, meaning that the owner of the goods can come and collect them up to two years after they were found, but must pay a decent wage in return.

The documentary is only 13 minutes long, and well worth your time.

‘Jutter’ Jan Uitgeest (73): “There are only eight of us left. Beachcombing is getting less popular because there aren’t that many finds any more. We are dependent on storms. Last year Terschelling had a large find of wood, and a container filled with snacks. On Ameland and Schiermonnikoog they found a container with mountain bike wheels and a couple of thousand coats, so that now the inhabitants of Schiermonnikoog are walking around in coats with nice fur collars.”

Link: Trendbeheer. Video: Vimeo / Flotsam and Jetsam.

4 Comments »

  1. What a lovely video! Thank you for this, and for all the great pleasure your website brings! I learn so much about my adopted land from your fascinating comments and references.

    Comment by JA Silk — November 20, 2011 @ 12:04 pm

  2. Texel is not a Frisian Island, it’s part of the province (county) of Noord (North) Holland. Vlieland, Terschelling, Ameland, Schiermonnikoog are Frisian (part of province/county Friesland) Islands.

    Comment by heerwaarden — November 24, 2011 @ 2:50 pm

  3. The English name for Waddeneilanden is Frisian Islands.

    Comment by Branko Collin — November 24, 2011 @ 7:22 pm

  4. […] also: “On the beaches of Texel only left shoes are ever found” (about the Netherlands’ beach combing […]

    Pingback by 24 oranges » ‘Street comber’ Krista Peeters makes one piece of art out of garbage per day — February 12, 2012 @ 10:36 am

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