A swordfish caught in the Banda islands
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. This drawing shows a swordfish seen in early June 1602 while the expedition was in the Banda Islands in the Moluccas.
Joris Joostensz. Laerle, artist on board of the Gelderland, likely drew this quite lifelike depiction of the swordfish (Xiphias Gladius) in the journal of the flagship Gelderland. The text below the fish says according to Perry Moree that the fish was sighted on 8 June 1602 and that it was “brown on its belly and white on its body and golden yellow **. It is named ‘pisso jagoulle (or jagorille)’.Please contact Nationaal Archief for reuse and copyrights.