Industrial-scale fishing ports, with fleets of steam vessels, ample facilities for landing fish, wholesale markets, ship repair yards and factories for processing both the edible and inedible parts of fish became established in many European countries from the 1870s, outstanding examples being Bremerhaven, Grimsby, Murmansk and Vigo. The principal fishing port in Belgium was Ostend, where the first fish auction was established in 1879. The fishing industry declined there in the late twentieth century, as in other countries. The number of fishermen employed fell from 1300 in 1947 to 150 in 2017. For much of the twentieth century Ostend’s large trawlers worked in the North Sea and English Channel in winter, and off southern Iceland in summer.
The Amadine was one of the last vessels from the port to work off Iceland and returned to its home port for the last time on 3 March 1995. Since 2000 it has been moored as a museum ship on the Visserskaai (fish quay). Visitors are able to explore the whole ship, and can gain an understanding of the hard conditions under which fishermen worked, even in relatively recent times.