The tenth Holland Fisheries Event took place last week in Urk, opened by MEP Annie Schreijer-Pierik. During the two-day trade fair for the fishing industry and maritime sectors, more than 100 exhibitors from the Netherlands and abroad displayed their latest innovations to 3500 visitors.
‘The exhibition space was expanded for this year’s event, adding two new pavilions and 25% more exhibitors. The growth and the sector’s enthusiasm about the event prove that people acknowledge the great potential of the fishing industry,’ said Klaas-Jelle Koffeman, chairman of the Urk Fishery Days Foundation
Addressing the audience, Alderman Geert Post emphasised that both Holland Fisheries Event and the municipality of Urk continue to grow, expanding entrepreneurial activity from fishing to encompass the maritime sector.
The challenges faced by the Dutch fishing sector were never far from discussion during the two-day event, including the unresolved question of the future of pulse fishing, which has been left open as the trilogue meeting in Strasbourg on 4th October effectively postponed further negotiation to an as yet undefined future date.
‘Help me,’ said Christian Democrat MEP Annie Schreijer-Pierik in an appeal to the industry in her opening speech.
‘Working collectively within the sector, we must aim not for 5% but for 100%, or all pulse fishing permits, and try to achieve three more years for research on pulse fishing.’
A well-attended seminar on MDV (the Master Plan for Sustainable Fishery) was offered on both days of the event. Jaap Luchies, fishery expert for the event’s main sponsor, Flynth consultants and accountants, talked to interested parties about the past three years of the Master Plan in terms of solid figures and results.
He also offers a glimpse of future plans.
‘MDV is the brand for future-proof ships that can handle market fluctuations, that offer good working conditions and a safe environment for the crew, and that ensure a shorter payback period for the investment,’ he said.
‘The sales market for the ships, including the catering and hospitality industry, is also interested in fish caught by ships like MDV1, in part due to the quality involved, but also because of the sustainable aspect for people and the environment.’
HFE set to grow
The Holland Fisheries Event continues to attract increasing interest, not only from within the fishing industry, but also from the maritime sector and from abroad. The trade floor represented companies from such countries as Spain, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, and even the USA.
‘Holland Fisheries Event is a great, well-planned trade fair, with a congenial atmosphere, where exhibitors can talk to the target group, entrepreneurs and decision-makers, not just maintaining and expanding their network, but also really doing business.The entire fishing industry comes to Urk during the first weekend in October, as well as more and more maritime entrepreneurs,’ said Klaas-Jelle Koffeman.
Flynth consultants and accountants was once again the main sponsor of the Holland Fisheries Event. Auke Hoefnagel, branch office director of Flynth consultants and accountants, believes in a future for the fishing industry, since fisheries have been facing challenges for centuries, and always manage to overcome them.
‘The sector is alive and kicking. People are building and buying. The exhibition space is fully booked. The trade fair is already a success!’ he said.