This Dutch city has a fish ‘doorbell camera’, and it’s surprisingly popular

Mar 22, 2024

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

This Dutch city has a fish ‘doorbell camera’, and it’s surprisingly popular

Mar 22, 2024

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

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Spring is finally in the air, and that means that it’s time for the fish doorbell camera once again. If you weren’t eagerly already waiting for this day, then you might be wondering what the heck I’m going on about.

The Fish Doorbell camera is a unique invention created by ecologists and the City of Utrecht in the Netherlands. The camera operates in springtime and sends a live stream (pun intended) of the canal lock.

Viewers are invited to watch the stream and press the doorbell button on the page when they see a fish. This will open the lock and let the fish swim through.

This Dutch city has a fish 'doorbell camera', and it's surprisingly popular

“Every spring, fish swim right through Utrecht, looking for a place to spawn and reproduce. Some swim all the way to Germany,” the website says. “There is a problem, however: they often have to wait a long time at the Weerdsluis lock on the west side of the inner city, as the lock rarely opens in spring.”

According to the website, if the fish have to wait too long to be let through the lock, they are more likely to be eaten by hungry birds such as grebes and cormorants.

Apparently, the fish prefer to swim after dark to avoid predators, so if you’re not having luck spotting fish on the live camera feed, try again at night time, and you might get lucky.

Underwater photography and video have become much more accessible in recent years, with many action cameras coming with waterproof options. You don’t even need to use a fish-eye lens! However, if you want an idea of what it’s like to be a fish, it’s probably best left to the experts than strapping a GoPro to an actual fish, like these guys did.

The fish doorbell camera has been incredibly popular, with around 800 viewers online at the time I wrote this article. That’s a lot of people wanting to help out some fish in a random European city. You could almost say it’s a fin-tastic reception.

If you just can’t contain your excitement, the webcam also publishes the best photos of the fish on the website. Alternatively, you can log onto YouTube for the highlight reels (or should that be eels?).

Anyway, if there aren’t fish at this exact time, you can check back later. Plenty more fish out there, I’m told!

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Alex Baker

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

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One response to “This Dutch city has a fish ‘doorbell camera’, and it’s surprisingly popular”

  1. Joost Wierenga Avatar
    Joost Wierenga

    Dutchies be crazy