In 1800 seven families lived in Thorup Strand and the number has slowly increased with the years. Fishermen were the main settlers in the area and the fishing industry was the primary occupation of the time. Today there are about 25 fishing boats on the beach and they are all part of a co-op to protect the future of their fishing rights and their environmental methods. At first, fishing took place from small open boats; but later they were replaced with larger clinker-built sea boats during the 19th century. The fishing boats are pulled out to sea by a wrinch in the early hours of the morning and get hauled back up onto the beach by a bulldozer at the end of the day.
The fishermen use nets and Danish seines also known as poor mans trawl. The advantages of the Danish seine are that it does not need much power to operate (low fuel consumption per catch), it is much cheaper and less bulky than a trawl, therefore it can be used on much smaller boats. Also the Danish seine doesn’t scrape and destroy the bottom of the ocean floor like the trawl, making it a more sustainable method of fishing.