Import / Export
More than 50% of all fish that is consumed in the European Union is imported from so-called ‘third countries’, i.e. countries outside the EU. For the Netherlands in particular, which operates more and more as an entrepot for fish in Europe, import is of the greatest importance.
Information about importers and exporters can be found on the website www.dutchfish.nl.
In monetary terms, we import one and a half times as much as our own fish landings by Dutch vessel.
The Netherlands has eleven auctions where fresh seafish is landed on a weekly basis. Over the last years some clusters have been formed and alliances have been created.
The fish auction plays an intermediary role between the supplier and the purchaser. The fish auction makes room available where fish is unloaded, graded and stored in the display area. Each auction has a bidding room with an auction clock. The traders take seats in the bidding room. As soon as the auctioneer starts running the clock, purchasers in the benches can press on the required price. The price is running down until a trader bids.
Specialised fish retail in the Netherlands has approximately 1,900 outlets, of which 1,200 are ambulant. This high share of the ambulant trade is typical for fish retailing. There are few branches in the sector, as less than 10% of the businesses has more than one site. However, there are companies that have an ambulant point of sale besides their shop.
In the supermarket channel there has been a strong increase in the interest in fresh fish, and although fish is a product that is difficult for supermarkets in terms of product and product treatment and sale, the market share has risen strongly. Sales in fish in the various sales channels has been divided as follows: 61% via supermarkets; 19% via ambulant trade and 17% via fishmongers.