Unfavorable Winds


With 3,500 kilometres of coastline, France is a land of sailors. Fishing communities and their traditions are rooted in its culture and history. Yet major changes occurred after the Second World War with the development of industrial fishing. Today, the profession itself is under risk due to quotas, overfishing and diminishing fish stocks.

Awards : Corderie Royale de Rochefort & Association Hermione-La Fayette : Prix Mémoire de la Mer 2018

Director's statement

We wanted to show seventy years of upheaval through personal stories. It is often said that seafarers speak little. Yet ultimately, regardless of what they are fishing, we found passionate people who spoke to us naturally and openly. In particular, they spoke about a time when fishing was difficult but free, with no other restriction but the sea in stormy weather.

Why we selected this film

A film which presents the problems that small fishers face in France, tracing the history and twists of an industry which has been in crisis since the 1980s. What went too far? What were the mistakes which resulted in overfishing and the clashes which took place in the 1990s? At a time when the seas are being emptied of fish, which solutions to overfishing can we find to achieve sustainable fishing methods? This well-directed film provides a comprehensive overview of the issue and teaches us much about this little-known world. Through archive images and interviews, we understand the problems of small traditional fishers more completely.