First herring barrel sold for EUR 66,000

10th June 2009, Comments 0 comments

The five kilogramme barrel containing 45 herrings fetched EUR 66,000 at the traditional Scheveningen fish auction on Tuesday.

Scheveningen – The first barrel of this year's herring seasonal catch fetched EUR 66,000 at a traditional auction in Scheveningen Tuesday, EUR 11,000 more than 2008.

The proceeds of the five kilogramme (11 pounds) barrel containing 45 herrings will be donated to a child-care charity. Last year, it fetched EUR 55,000.

This means each herring was sold for EUR 1,650.

The barrel was bought by a group of young entrepreneurs from Harderwijk, the same buyers as in 2008.

This year's herring has been given as the thumbs-up by the panel members who described it as "large and fatty".

"The quality of the maatje is excellent this year," fish expert Peter Koelewijn told AFP while sampling the new arrivals at a symbolic auction in the sea-side suburb of Scheveningen.

The annual Scheveningen fish auction is the traditional opening of the herring season.

"Its fat content is particularly high: 26.3 percent compared to the usual 16 percent," he smacked.

"The herrings could grow well because the sea is rich in plankton thanks to the good weather we've enjoyed in recent weeks," added Koelewijn.

Thousands of Dutch are expected to descend on Scheveningen beach on Saturday to celebrate the 2009 maatje season.

Herring is a Dutch delicacy with the Dutch consuming tens of millions of the raw, salty delicacy yearly. People eat the boned fish raw, holding it by the tail and throwing back their heads to lower the fish into their mouths.

The "maatje", derived from the Dutch word for virginal but also known as the Hollandse Nieuwe, is fished in the North Sea for just over a month every year from the end of May to the beginning of July.

Radio Netherlands / AFP / Expatica

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