Fish and sea

Freshly caught fisch from the Wad is available in the several fish stores and stalls at the island.

Smoked mackerel is a popular fish species on Terschelling that is eaten a lot. Especially in the months of August and September, when they are caught by professional, sports and recreational fishermen. Usually this type of fish is smoked immediately after the catch. This is the reason why there is often a smoking barrel along the bicycle paths during that period. And if you don't see it, you can smell it from afar.

Sea bass is related to the freshwater bass, which it also somewhat resembles. The fish only tastes a bit spicier than its freshwater relative and has considerably less bones. You will seldom find it on the menus of Dutch restaurants, although its popularity is growing. Sea bass is regularly caught around the island. That's why it is sometimes found on the menu in restaurants. The fish meat is lean, white, firm and deliciously juicy.

Every year a sea bass competition is held by the local fishing club. Then there is a fight for the sea bass trophy. In many places around the island in the summer you will see fishermen fishing from the North Sea beach or the Wadden dike near the harbor mouth.

Are you planning to go fishing yourself? In some places you can buy bait (ragworms). This is indicated by signs along the road and the cycle paths. Rods and accessories are for sale at Jonker in West-Terschelling and also for rent at 'T Winketje in Midsland Noord.

Visser op het strand

Marsh samphire looks like a cactus (fat) plant. You find it where the salt water can reach the coast at high tide. In other words, on the mud flats. For example, on the Groene Strand in West-Terschelling. It is a real pioneer and therefore also called the pioneer plant. The healthiest plants are those that are inundated at high tide. The salty samphire can be eaten raw or cooked. However, use only the top pieces because the bottom is woody hard. Its high iodine content makes samphire a very healthy vegetable. Marsh samphire can be served with, of course, fish dishes.

The mussel (Mytillus Edulis) is a marine living bivalve mollusk. The species is also called the common or edible mussel. In the Netherlands and Lower Saxony, most mussels are fished in specially constructed breeding plots. In spring and autumn, mussel seed is fished from natural mussel beds. These are young mussels. This seed is deposited on plots in the Wadden Sea. Once the mussels have reached a size of 4 to 5 centimeters, they are fished up and put into other plots that are deeper.

When the cultivated mussels are large enough for consumption, they are fished up and released into the cleaner Eastern Scheldt. Here the mussels can rest and get rid of sand and silt. After this 'rinsing' they are sold as Zeeland mussels. Every year, between 80 and 100 million kilos of mussels are put on the market.

The edible mussel is cultivated on mussel beds in the Oosterschelde, the Wadden Sea and the Grevelingen. These plots are leased by growers from the Dutch state. Until about 1950, all Dutch mussel production came from Zeeland. After the contamination with a parasite in this area, a large part of the mussel cultivation was moved to the western Wadden Sea. In restaurant Caracol mussels are served from the wild mussel beds near Terschelling.

The Pacific oyster (Crassostrea Gigas) is an edible mollusk of the class bivalves (Bivalvia). It is capable to establish itself by filtering and consuming the 'seeds' of mussels, cockles and flat oysters from the water. Besides the waters of Zeeland, it is increasingly found in the Wadden Sea. Be careful when you go look for oysters. They are very sharp and can cause serious injuries.

The Wadden are also the catching area for cockle fishermen. Almost the entire catch is exported to England, Spain and Portugal. You rarely see cockles being offered in the Netherlands. Yet, there are delicious things to do and make with them. Enjoy your own cockles and use them to make pasta vongole, for example.


Periwinkles, calles 'wrinkles' on Terschelling, graze the mudflats in search of plant food. The tiny snails in their spiral-wound shells can be found by large amounts on the stones of the dike or the harbor dams during high tide. In a number of restaurants of the island, periwinkles are on the menu as an appetizer. It takes some effort to get the little shellfish out of their home with a pin.

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