Skinny fish delay herring season
23 May 2006
AMSTERDAM — The opening of the new herring season has been put on ice in the Netherlands.
Dutch herring wholesalers took the decision because the fish are not fat enough as a result of unusual cold spring weather.
The Dutch fish council announced on Monday that the traditional auction of the first keg of Hollandse Nieuwe (New Dutch) herring, to raise money for charity, will not take place on 30 May. A new date will be fixed later.
This is the first time in history that the auction cannot proceed on the planned date.
Raw salted herring is regarded as something of a delicacy in the Netherlands. It is generally served with diced raw onions. The fish’s head is removed before it is sold. The most traditional way of eating a herring is holding it by its tail, tilting your head back and devouring from the other end.
Herring is available at most fish stands now but the Hollandse Nieuwe (New Dutch) herring is particularly sought after.
“Nature is running behind,” the lobby group for the fish sector said. “The quality of the herring caught up to now is not suitable to be processed into Hollandse Nieuwe.” The amount of food available in the sea was reduced as a result of the cold weather in early spring, resulting in the herrings not reaching the correct fat percentage to qualify as Hollandse Nieuwe.
Scheveningen’s Vlaggetjesdag (Flag Day festival) will go ahead as planned on 3 June, but numerous other events to mark the beginning of the herring season have been cancelled.
Fish sellers ruled out the option of starting the season with underweight produce because they were worried disappointed customers could be put off buying herring again, Nico de Jong, chairman of the wholesaler’s group said.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news