Fishing has been one of the most important sources of prosperity for Zierikzee. In the middle of the 17th century the fleet consisted of almost 100 ships. The fish caught was brought ashore in Zierikzee and sold. From there, the catch was traded to, among others, Brabant and Flanders. In the course of the 18th century, the fishing fleet became smaller and smaller. Competition with the cities along the Meuse estuary was unsustainable. In 1804, the fish market was moved to the courtyard of the St. Jacob's guild.
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