A percebeiro -- or goose barnacle fisherman -- collects the valuable crustaceans that cling to coastal rocks in northwestern Spain. Photographer Alvaro Laiz has been following percebeiros for the last five years, documenting one community near the Costa da Morte ("Coast of Death").
The percebeiros wear kneepads and gloves to protect themselves from the rocks, which can be sharp as knives.
In the village of Aguino, there are about 80 to 100 percebeiros working legally, but others hunt illegally at night, Laiz said. The water is more dangerous at night and the penalties for getting caught are high, but the lucrative returns often justify the risks.
Manolo, 56, spent half his life working as a fisherman in the North Sea.
Fishermen untangle a trawling net while seagulls fight for fish.
Goose barnacles, or percebes, are among the most expensive shellfish in the world. The delicacy grows all along the coastal cliffs, but they flourish where the waves are the highest and the wind is at its most fierce.
Fran, 26, checks the anchor of his small boat before heading out to sea. He is the youngest percebeiro in his family. He was forced to join the family business when Spain's real-estate market collapsed.
Percebeiros jump from their boats to razor-sharp rocks. They also swim through underwater caves to find the best percebes.
Cheri, 48, searches for goose barnacles among rocks more exposed to the waves. The brutal waves, however, can be deadly.
An old Celtic moon calendar can still be seen on one of the rocks.
A Virgin of the Sea statue in Ribeira, Spain.
Cheri patches his badly damaged wetsuit.
Every morning, Concha feeds her cattle before jumping into the water to collect goose barnacles.
Many villagers once abandoned fishing gear for much more lucrative trades, such as construction. But they returned to the sea when the housing bubble burst.
Goose barnacles can fetch up to $125 per pound.