Fishery, trade, shipping, beachcombing. Texel’s development has always been closely connected to its maritime surroundings. From the 15th century onwards its strategic position near the Texel Roads (Marsdiep) catalyzed the growth of its local economy.
Tall ships of the Dutch East India Company (VOC, 1602-1799) anchored next to the isle. Protected from westerly winds they were piloted and supplied by the Islanders. Trade, fishery, and farming were the prime economic activities in the 18th and 19th century.
Today the Texel harbour in Oudeschild is home to a formidable fishery fleet and a busy recreational marina. Den Helder, on the other side of the Texel Roads, is a regional offshore harbour and shelters the frigates of the Dutch Royal Navy (since 1947).