The Municipal Market of Matosinhos is one of the best places to buy fresh fish in Portugal. It is the beating heart of the oceanfront city, five miles out of Porto. Here women like Lígia Correia and Cristiana Ferreira sell sardines, robalo, monkfish, mackerel, swordfish, sole, octopus, shellfish, and more. They were taught the trade by their grandmother, who still works in the market herself.

To photograph Portugal’s relationship with the ocean, António Pedrosa also visited the Conservas Pinhais Factory nearby. Many of the women who work there have been inspecting, washing, packaging, and canning fish since they were 14 years old. Everything is done by hand. Established in 1920, Conservas Pinhais produces the iconic cans of sardines and mackerel in olive oil or tomato sauce that are sold throughout Portugal and the world.

As the women’s workday ends, the men prepare to go out to sea. In the port of Afurada, a small fishing village across the Douro from Porto, a crew of eight fishermen board the Abraão Miguel. Miguel Moreira is the captain now. He took over from his father, Abraão, 72, who still fishes by his son’s side. The crew stays all night at sea, even if the catch is bad. At dawn they unload the fish at the Matosinhos harbor, and the cycle starts anew.

Unloading the night’s catch at the Matosinhos harbor in the early morning.
Lígia Correia and Cristiana Ferreira working at the Municipal Market of Matosinhos.
Grilling fish for lunch in the village of Afurada, located across the Douro river from Porto.
Conservas Pinhais employs 100 workers, 80 of whom are women. Some have been in the trade since they were 12 years old.
Around 3 a.m., the crew aboard the Abraão Miguel gets ready for work.
Sardines are caught with a purse seine net.
A buyer speaks on the phone with a customer during the early morning auction at the Matosinhos harbor.

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