In 1869 the Danish government decided to build a fortified North Sea port with a railway siding at Esbjerg, which was extended several times over the years. Maritime transport and especially fishing dominated the town until this economic sector experienced a decline in recent years and was replaced by the offshore sector.
The Fisheries and Maritime Museum, which opened in 1969, first told the story of Danish deep-sea and coastal fishing, and later also that of shipping. A saltwater aquarium was extended in 1976 with a tank for seals. On the outdoor area there are fishermen's huts, a harbour landscape and a shipyard with an active blacksmith's shop, a rescue station and many tools for fishing. The exhibition "Energy from the Sea" shows how fossil and renewable energies are extracted and used offshore: Visitors are guided on platforms at sea, to the seabed, into the depths of the rock and from a helicopter perspective to a large wind farm in the sea.