The Dutch herring season kicks off on June 23, a week later than planned, and the first barrel of the new catch will be auctioned off for charity later on Thursday.
The sale of the “new herring” is strictly controlled and the fish can only be sold once the Association of Herring Wholesalers has deemed the quality to be sufficient and set the date.
Throughout the season Norwegian and Danish trawlers will catch some 25 million kilos of herring for processing and consumption in the traditional Dutch way.
The start of the season was delayed after trial catches at the end of May resulted in a fish that was “nothing at all”, Agnes Leewis, director of the Dutch fish board, told the Parool.
“The herring is the jewel in the fishing sector’s crown,” she said. “The season has to start off well or it will damage the entire season.”
Half the catch goes to Germany, around 25% to the Netherlands, 15% to Belgium and the rest to Dutch interests, such as embassies, around the globe, Leewis said.
Hollandse Nieuwe is the name given to young herring caught between mid-May and the end of June which have a body fat percentage of at least 16%. The fish are gutted and salted but the pancreas containing an enzyme which helps the fish to ripen is left in place.
Hollandse Nieuwe are actually caught weeks before the launch of the season, salted and deep frozen until the official start. The fish has to be frozen by law anyway to kill off the herring worm.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation