| ||The village of Talmont sits on an isolated, rocky promontory where the Gironde Estuary takes on the appearance of a small sea. Surrounded by marshes and limestone cliffs, the estuary is also dotted with some 20 little harbors. Coastal trade has long thrived in the area, and in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, demand from the city of Bordeaux led to a sharp increase in fishing, wiping out the once numerous sturgeon population. Fishermen subsequently turned their attention to elvers, the young eels that swim in the millions up the marshy channels from the sea every spring. The countless huts from which fishermen lower their wide nets into the water bear witness to this local passion. The inhabitants’ ties to their estuary seem unbreakable and thus the tradition continues, but at what cost to the environment? European legislation that aims to protect nature commonly faces the obstacle of local customs.
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