Meeting with Jean-Marc Daubert, fisherman, during the landing of the scallop in the port of Courseulles-sur-mer.

IIt’s 12 o’clock, Jean-Marc Daubert, 32 years old, fisherman in Courseulles-sur-Mer is on the quay watching for the arrival of his boat, the Espérance. Ah, the sound of an engine! Here it comes, this 12-metre trawler! A blast of the horn startles me.

The crew announces the entry of the boat in the fishing port not far from the Courseulles fish market.

Jean-Marc beckons me to join him and I take a seat along the quay of the Allies in order to watch the spectacle of the landing.

After having helped the crew to manoeuvre in the harbour, Jean-Marc, always, climbs on the deck with the force of his arms, to find his colleagues who left at sea a few days earlier…

In this month of October, the shellfish season has just begun.

The fishing was good?

says a regular.

Excellent! We bring you freshly caught shells from the Bay of Seine!

Jean-Marc replies with a smile after having had a look inside the boat.

It is then a well-tuned mechanism which offers itself to us. I say “we” because I notice that behind me the curious are pouring in. The boxes filled with scallops are lowered onto the quay by a remote-controlled arm.

Two employees grab them and stack them. They weigh 45kg each!

Then they are transported on a forklift to the fish market and to the Daubert fish shop a few metres away. I watch with amusement as the shoppers follow the trolley and crowd around the fish stall.

First come, first served!

This is when another scene appears before our eyes: the opening of the shells! The whole team, including Jean-Marc’s wife and mother, get down to it straight away. It only takes them a few seconds to open them before offering them for sale. What speed!

From producer to consumer, that’s what locals and tourists are looking for today!

Here I see the chef Anthony Vallette from the restaurant l’As de Trèfle, located in the neighbouring commune of Bernières-sur-mer. He is also a regular, who has come to collect a few kilos of scallops. I approach him and ask him what recipe he intends to propose today.

Scallops with strawberry yuzu and iodine foam. Come and try it!

the chef announces while loading several kilos of scallops into his van.

I then run to join Jean-Marc before he sets sail again. And yes, I still have a few questions to ask him!

Maison Daubert, is it a family story ?

Yes, we have been working as a family for 35 years. It was my father, Marc, who created the company in the 1980s. He was a fisherman, shipowner and owner of the fishmonger’s in Courseulles-sur-mer. Of the 30 employees, 15 are my family! My wife Ombeline and my mother Isabelle sell directly at the fish market, my sister Stéphanie now runs the fish shop, and my cousin does the markets. For my part, I joined the company 16 years ago, I manage the boats Sténaca 2 and Espérance.

How do you like to eat scallops?

On board, I am the cook. I like to prepare one of my father’s favourite recipes: scallop carpaccio. After finely slicing each scallop like a carpaccio, I add a good amount of olive oil, salt, pepper, a dash of lemon, a few shallots and that’s it!

What fish do you catch off Courseulles-sur-mer?

Mainly sole, sea bream, mackerel and sea bass. We fish in all weathers and all year round! Well, I’ll leave you to it, the tide is starting to go out, it’s time to go back to sea!

I thank Jean-Marc. As I leave, I take a few more photos of the voracious gulls that feast on the remains of scallops.


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