Skipper Jelle Zeeman


"After completing mate/engineer officer education for the fishing industry, in 1989 at the age of 19 I became a fisherman on the North Sea. After having worked in all aspects of the profession I quit fishing in 2006", according to Jelle Zeeman as he starts telling his story. However, he added more strings to his bow and he has been working for Atlas Eurosailor ever since.

"Advised by Atlas, I had taken a few courses in my free hours onboard. So by the time I stopped fishing I had obtained certificates in Nautische Functies 1&2 (introductory maritime courses), Groot Vaarbewijs (license to handle a vessel) and Bijzonder Opsporingsambtenaar (special investigator) as well as a Master-Coastal Waters qualification. Through Atlas I worked for the department of Public Works and Water Management as an interim captain. Subsequently Atlas paid for me to get my Inland Shipping Radar certificate. For a short time I worked for Van Oord and Baggerbedrijf De Boer, also through Atlas."

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"In December 2007 I started work on IJsseloog, as skipper on one of the flat-boats. Gradually, I was assigned many different tasks. This is what makes this work so enjoyable: it is full of variation. Working hours are from 7 in the morning until 7 at night. Contaminated dredging sludge is delivered here from all over the Netherlands. On arrival, we have to weigh the barges in, and when they have been unloaded we weigh them out again. Based on this information I calculate the total in cubic metres and tonnes. This data is then used to compute the weekly total amount of sludge delivered. We also take samples of the contaminated sludge. this is to ensure that the comparatively restricted amount of space left (18 million m3 remaining, ed.) is filled in an effective and sustainable way."


"The thing that makes working here so attractive is that, even though we are on an island, we get to meet large numbers of different people. this also makes the work more interesting. The thing I like least about my job is probably the fact that because I have a one-year contract it lacks the job-security of permanent work, however... with Atlas as my employer I have only had positive experiences and there have never been any problems."