In 1557, the fishing burghers in Gävle (the only Swedish city north of Stockholm) had an exclusive royal privilege on all herring fish along the cost of northern Sweden. In return they paid every tenth barrel of fish to the crown.
Until the late 1700s, most of the fishers in the Gävle area lived in the city. They later moved out to the archipelago and a whole fishing community developed in Bönan. In the mid 1800's Bönan had a school, shop, hotel and post office.
There were also fishing ports in Utvalnäs, Eggegrund, Lövgrund, Vitgrund and Limön. The last fisherman on the island Vitgrund in Gävle bay was William Zettergren, whose fish farm can be visited in Furuviksparken. On Lövgrund, the fish chapel from 1831 is still well preserved and well worth a visit. Bönan Chapel built by fishermen in 1843 is also well kept.
Since the postwar period, fishing has declined and today there are only a few fishermen left along the Bönan coast.
Learn more about the fishermen at Gävle »