This unique museum provides an insight into the admirable and heroic adventure of the cod fisheries, and the remarkable ethnographic richness of the coastal populations, whose character is moulded by the rough seas to which they owe their survival.
The icon of the collection dedicated to cod fishing is a life-sized cod-fishing boat, cut in a lean-to format. You can go on board, see the fishing tackle and imagine the life of the men who made it their home during the long months that they spent on the cold, faraway seas of Greenland and Newfoundland.
In the collection dedicated to the Ria de Aveiro lagoon, the display of the various life-sized boats shows how fishing and the other activities in the lagoon require complex skills and much ancient knowledge. The collection of panels and paintings of prows of the moliceiro (seaweed-collecting) boats in this museum represent a rich, colourful and sometimes humorous iconography. Painting, sculpture, pottery, drawing, a large collection of sea-shells from all over the world and marine algae complete the collection.
Don’t miss the Santo André ship-museum, which is part of the Ílhavo Maritime Museum. Built in 1948, it was part of the Portuguese cod fleet, and is anchored in a tributary of the Ria de Aveiro lagoon (Gafanha da Nazaré, on the way to Costa Nova).