Life at sea on a trawler with Breton fishermen.
Titles read: "TOILERS OF THE SEA".
Various brief shots show crowds of people on a quayside, saying goodbye to Breton fishermen leaving on a trawler. Children watch from the harbour as the fishing boat pulls out.
On board we see the men mending nets. A man looks through binoculars; another, wearing a sou'wester stands at the wheel. The men eat and drink at a table on the rolling ship. The ship travels through a storm; waves crash over the deck and the boat pitches and rolls on the rough sea.
We then see the men throwing the huge nets over the side and hauling them in, full of fish of all shapes and sizes. The fish are sorted and cleaned on benches by the men on deck, then covered with salt to preserve them. Brief shot of a man filming with a handheld movie camera. More fish are brought in with the nets in the snow, and the sorting and cleaning carries on into the night even though the boat runs into a blizzard.
Various shots of the man at the wheel. A montage sequence follows, showing shots of seagulls flying over the sea intercut with and superimposed over shots of women and children waiting at home for the fishermen to return.