Goose-barnacle fishermen, called percebeiros, risk injury and death daily in their quest for percebes on Galicia’s northwestern coast, Costa da Morte. It’s a dangerous and traditional profession, often passeddown in families for hundreds of years. It can also be remunerative: The delicacy can cost as much as €200 per kilo ($125 per pound) at a restaurant in Spain.
It is a conscious career choice for many. Not everyone fled the profession on Spain’s Atlantic “Coast of Death”when high-paying construction jobs were available inrecent boom times. But after the nation spiraled into economic crisis and unemployment skyrocketed, many wereforced back to the dangerous life of a percebeiro.
Most of these photographs were taken in the village of Aguiño, Spain. It has 80 to 100 legal goose-barnacle fishermen, though an increase in the price for a permit hasled some to hunt the prized crustaceans illegally at night. It involves scaling rocks battered by tsunami-like waves,or swimming underwater into caves.