description description

Flying fish and king mackerel


Flying fish and king mackerel

Laerle, Joris Joostensz.

The Moluccan fleet of the Fifth Expedition sailed to the Indonesian archipelago and back to the Netherlands over the course of two years: 1601 to 1603. Along the way, the crew would frequently catch fish from the oceans and seas that the ships traversed. Many of these were drawn in the journal of the Gelderland under the command of admiral Wolphert Harmensz, giving us insights into the great diversity of species the expedition encountered.

Joris Joostensz. Laerle, artist on board of the Gelderland, likely drew this detailed depiction of two fish in the journal of the flagship Gelderland.

Above: a flying fish (Cypselurus). The flying fish are found in all oceans, making it impossible to determine where the fish was exactly caught. The texts say:

Top: “Flying fish” and “its bait”. Bottom: “The biggest appearance of the flying fish and the bait of the same fish”.

Below: a king mackerel (Scomberomorus). The king mackerel is found in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. The texts say:

Top: “Pescado del rey” and “Called the king’s fish”. Bottom: “This fish is named pescado del reij, the colour [is] white and brown except the except the two stripes on its body being blue. Was caught with a rod. Is about 3 feet long.”

Please contact Nationaal Archief for reuse and copyrights.

Sources and literature

Morree, Perry, Dodo's en galjoenen: De reis van het schip Gelderland naar Oost-Indië, 1601-1603