Season's first barrel of herring sold in charity auction for €113,500
The first keg of herring sold this season raised 113,500 euros on Tuesday, a record sum. A spokesperson for the Nederlands Visbureau reported the new record shortly after the auction. Proceeds go to the nonprofit organization, Stichting Ambulance Wens. "A mega amount, which has never happened before. Really special," said the spokesperson for the Visbureau, the public relations and marketing firm for the Dutch fishing industry.
The barrel was bought by the Association of Dutch Fish Specialists (VNV). The new herring will go on sale at most fishmongers in the Netherlands from Wednesday.
The first barrel of Hollandse Nieuwe herring was sold in a "normal" auction again this year. In recent years, that was not possible because of the coronavirus restrictions, but this year it was possible again. With the auction, held at the fish auction house in Scheveningen, the Visbureau marks the catch of the first herring of the year, called the "Hollandse Nieuwe."
Before the coronavirus pandemic broke out, it was already the intention that the proceeds would go to the Stichting Ambulance Wens. Volunteers from the foundation fulfil the last wishes of terminal patients who depend on ambulance transport. "The great thing is there was no auction for two years because of coronavirus So third time's a charm, also for charity. We were going for a new ambulance and eventually also for a stretcher," according to the spokeswoman for the Visbureau. "The cost is 15,000 euros, and a few liters of fuel as a bonus."
In 2020, the herring was symbolically offered to healthcare staff. The current minister of health, welfare and sport, Ernst Kuipers, accepted the barrel when he was the chair of the national network of acute care providers. He was joined by Diederik Gommers, who was the chair of the Dutch Association for Intensive Care. The herring was delivered to a number of hospitals.
Last year, the first barrel was also symbolically offered to GGD staff, who were then busy vaccinating people against Covid-19. The herring was then received by André Rouvoet, the chair of the branch organization GGD-GHOR. At several GGD locations, employees and people who came to get a vaccine shot were given a herring.
In 2019, the first barrel of Hollandse Nieuwe brought in 95,500 euros. That keg was bought by wholesaler Makro, and the proceeds went to the Mag Ik Dan Bij Jou Foundation, which assists families when a child is diagnosed with cancer.
Reporting by ANP