Maatjes season opens in Belgium

4th June 2008, Comments 0 comments

Most maatjes this year are from Norway and have been caught in an ecologically-responsible way.

4 June 2008

BELGIUM - Maatjes season has opened in Belgium. True to tradition, the supermarkets and shops are proudly displaying their herring fillets.

On Monday, the large supermarket chain Delhaize announced that most of the maatjes in their supermarket are from Norway.

Maatjes are fillets of young herring that has not spawned. They are eaten raw and can be served lightly salted or flavoured.

Maatjes come from moderately cold to cold seas in the north, and in the Gulf of Biscay. The fish feed mostly on plankton. In the months of May and June, a lot of plankton is present in the sea and the fish eat as much as possible to build up their reserves for the rest of the year.

Maatjes herring must be caught between mid May and mid July. Before this period, they are too thin and afterwards they will have spawned.

According to Delhaize, the Norwegians use an innovative technology to fish in a more ecologically-responsible way.

The Norwegian way of fishing, with ring nets, will soon be certified with the Marine Stewardship Council label, says Delhaize.

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