Centre for Sustainable Lifemodes



Han Herred Havbåde

Slettestrandvej 162

9690 Fjerritslev



Centre for Sustainable Lifemodes is located in the coastal village Slettestrand in the bay of Jammerbugt. It is hosted by Han Herred Havbaade, a coastal cultural heritage organization focused on small-scale coastal fishing in Skagerrak and the North Sea and historical maritime trade from the west and north coasts of Jutland. Han Herred Havbaade also consists of a modern boat building yard, where boat builders repair wooden coastal fishing boats in Jammerbugt and develop and construct new wooden fishing vessels with the latest technologies for sustainable fishing for coastal fishermen.


Focus areas

  • The development of coastal fishing with sustainable, low impact fishing gear
  • The preservation of reefs and ecosystems from heavy bottom fishing gear in Skagerrak
  • Wooden boat building for small-scale fishing
  • New organisational structures in small-scale fishing and farming
    • Cooperative structures and movements in fishing and farming
  • Historical ships preservation
  • Life-mode analyses
  • Studies on the development of fisheries in Scandinavia and Europe
  • European and Danish fishery policies
  • Historical maritime trade between Denmark and Norway
    • The reconstruction of a model of a vessel type from the 1600s
    • Archival studies and analyses



  • Jammerbugt Kommune (The Municipality of Jammerbugt)
  • Thorupstrand Kystfiskerlaug (Thorupstrand Coastal Fisherman’s Guild)
  • DTU Aqua
  • University of Copenhagen
  • Centro de Estudios Europeos de la Universidad de Murcia (CEEUM)
  • Merkur Andelskasse
  • Klim Sparekasse
  • Thorupstrand Fiskercompagni (The Thorupstrand Fishermen’s Company)
  • HM800 Jammerbugt
  • Foreningen for Skånsomt Kystfiskeri (Association for Low Impact Coastal Fishing)
  • COOP
  • Thise Mejeri
  • Træskibs Sammenslutningen
  • The Danish Ships Preservation Trust (Skibsbevarings Fonden)



Jammerbugt i balance (Jammerbugt in Balance) – 01.05 2016 – 01.05 2021

Jammerbugt in balance is a VELUX foundations supported project concentrated on the coastal fishing in Thorupstrand (in Jammerbugt) and the sea of Skagerrak. The project combines biological and anthropological research on fishing, fishing communities, gear types, sea habitats and the effects of fishing gear with the development of practical knowledge and actions undertaken with the aim to develop and support the coastal fishing in Jammerbugt – from the process of developing and constructing new wooden fishing boats and the catching of fish, to the sale and branding of high quality fish caught with low impact fishing gear types.


The project gathers and develops knowledge about the environmental effects of fishing and the organisational structures of the coastal fishing community of Jammerbugt with the aim of creating an example of sustainable, low impact fishing through environmental and economic investments and research. The vision of the project is to develop a resilient coastal community based on the life-modes of the small-scale fishery in a long-term, sustainable interaction with a rich maritime plant- and animal community.



  • Kirsten M. Hansen, ethnologist, Han Herred Havbaade,
  • Thomas Højrup, ethnologist, Centre for Sustainable Lifemodes, project manager
  • Mathilde Højrup, Cand.scient.anth., Jammerbugt in balance
  • Jan Robert Jore, photographer and filmmaker
  • Grete E. Dinesen, marine biologist, DTU Aqua
  • Erik Hoffman, senior consultant, DTU Aqua
  • Ole R. Eigaard, marine biologist, DTU Aqua
  • Eva M. Pedersen, marine biologist, DTU Aqua


Focus and research areas

  • The mapping and documenting of reefs in Skagerrak
  • Studies of fishing gear effects on ecosystems and sea bottoms
  • Elaboration of new organizational structures in the fishing community
  • Certification and branding of sustainably caught fish
  • Quality of fish and fish prices
  • Development of new markets and partnerships for marketing of sustainably caught fish
  • Danish fishing policies and effects on the small-scale coastal fishing fleet
  • Development of the local fishing community


Maritime Trade Studies  (Skudehandelen og dens livsformer i Nordjylland)

These studies bring to light new data about the maritime trade between Northern Jutland and Southern Norway from 1500 to 1900 through archive material, the recover of wrecks and ship parts. The objective is to describe the life-modes that developed and changed the local maritime trade, its interaction with fisheries and farming, its significance for the import and export from Han Herred, and its importance for the development of the early trade capitalism and workers’ life-modes, which contrast the feudal peasant conditions in the areas that were not in direct contact with the maritime trade. The maritime trade and its vessel culture are regarded as essential preconditions for the capital formation, ships construction and trade culture, which together formed the foundation for the regional growth of the modern coastal fisheries from the second half of the 1800s, and which is still essential for understanding coastal societies culture today. 



Kirsten M. Hansen, ethnologist, Han Herred Havbåde

Peter Madsbøll, boatbuilder, Han Herred Havbaade

Johannes Møllgaard, ethnologist, Han Herred Havbåde

Morten Gøthche, ships architect, Han Herred Havbåde and Roskilde Viking Ship Museum

Thomas Højrup, ethnologist, Centre for Sustainable Lifemodes


Neoculturation of Life-modes during the Current Transformation of State System and the World Economy – the Challenges, Variations and Changes in Cultural Life-modes

Center for Sustainable Lifemodes has established a partnership with Centre for State and Life-mode Analysis on the study of neoculturation processes. These processes show how life-modes react on changes in their conditions of existence and develop new features of praxis and ideology in firms, organizations, families, and the everyday life of individuals. Currently the project staff is researching the interactions and contrasts between different life-modes’ neoculturation under the state system and the world economy’s change from the 1970s up until today. Fieldwork is carried out in Denmark, China, Poland, Spain, and Ireland. The publications worked on in the project build on earlier research in Salling, Denmark, published in the book “Det glemte folk” (The Forgotten People), and the project staff is working on a English publication about “the paradox of temporality” in modern capitalism and the interaction between new varieties of the capitalist mode of production and the sovereignty work of states. This includes empirical studies of the development of sustainable kinds of fisheries and agriculture. These studies contribute to the research of how ways of producing, ways of organizing, and ways of effecting political processes of decision-making develop in a complicated interplay with, and defense against, the capitalist development. (




Centre for State and Life-Mode Analysis (



Thomas Højrup, ethnologist, Centre for Sustainable Lifemodes, project manager

Niels J. Nielsen, ethnologist, University of Copenhagen

Jeppe Høst, ethnologist, Centre for Sustainable Lifemodes and University of Copenhagen

Sigrid Leilund, ethnologist, University of Copenhagen

Klaus Schriewer, ethnologist, Centro de Estudios Europeos de la Universidad de Murcia

Gry Søby, ethnologist, University of Copenhagen



Contribution to the ethnological understanding of life- and state modes. Theoretical, present and historical descriptions of people’s life modes, their conditions and the relationships between these:


The Vessels Preservation Declaration Project  (København-charteret om skibsbevaring)

This is a project for the Danish Ships Preservation Trust with the goal of developing a new method for evaluating ship authenticity and preservation worthiness in the Danish fishing fleet, cargo fleet and service fleet. The outcome is a Copenhagen Charter on Vessel Preservation Declaration. The project staff develops an analysis- and synthesis structure, which introduces the concept of a three-dimensional preservation worthiness based on a dialectic authenticity conception. The idea is to also be able to apply this in the classification and certification of other areas such as cultural heritage buildings and culturally valuable objects.



Thomas Højrup, ethnologist, Centre for Sustainable Lifemodes

Peter Madsbøll, boatbuilder, Han Herred Havbaade

Tom Rasmussen, ships consultant, The Danish Ships Preservation Trust

John Valsted, ships consultant, The Danish Ships Preservation Trust

Peter Henningsen, ethnologist, National Museum of Denmark





See (fisheries) and (historical maritime trade) for links to publications and media.

In 2016 the centre has worked on 1) the article “Individual transferable quotas, does one size fit all? Sustainability analysis of an alternative model for quota allocation in a small-scale coastal fishery” co-written with DTU Aqua for Marine Policy, 2) a chapter on the small-scale fishing sector in Denmark for the MARE series co-written with Hanne Lyng Winter, 3) the DTU Aqua report “Fiskeriet fra Thorupstrand. Forvaltning af kvoter samt redskaber, både og fiskepladser” written by Erik Hoffman, and 4) a draft on “Copenhagen Charter on Vessel Preservation Declaration” written by Thomas Højrup.