Fishermen like those shown here are from an age which no longer exists, gone are the small boats which were run by families with traditions going back generations; men like my late grandfather and my uncles who fished the North Sea for Cod.
The men of the Britten operas were men who knew what to fish and where to fish, now it's all done with sonar and there are so many restrictions fishing is a dying trade, as seen in an episode of Wycliffe, if you catch more than your quota or the wrong fish it's "Black Fish" which you are not allowed to sell -- so you end up throwing good food to the gulls and putting men's lives at risk for nothing.
Coming from a family of fishermen, I have nothing but the highest regard for the men who go out in the boats; facing all weathers and risks. One of the saddest things I saw was during my tour of Scotland -- in the Royal Air Force -- I was on my way to the docks to take some photos and in a tiny alcove on a wall was a memorial to the lives lost in a recent disaster, you could read generations of families who had no future. Father and sons taken by the sea, their bodies never found and no closure for the families.
It is very likely my closeness to the sea which makes my story "The Love of the Sea," so life like.