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Chairman Johan Nooitgedagt welcoming guests to the new offices on the Dutch Fishermen’s Association’s 85th anniversary. Image: de Nederlandse Vissersbond

After a few years in temporary offices, the Dutch Fishermen’s Association (de Nederlandse Vissersbond) has a new purpose-built home in Urk, which was opened formally by four of the organisation’s honorary members.
Jurie van de Berg, Leen de Keijser, Huub Tanis and Lubbert Schregardus rang the Dutch Fishermen’s Association into its new offices in Urk with a peal on the ship’s bell. Although the new building has been in use for a few months already, the formal opening was delayed to coincide with the association’s 85th anniversary.
Chairman Johan Nooitgedagt kicked off, speaking to the 200 guests and reflecting on the association’s history and the present issues facing the industry.
Erna Drijver of the TX-29 reminded everyone currently concerned about the pulse ban that fishing without pulse gear is also possible, encouraging them to not lose heart as fishing has historically always overcome setbacks.
The association’s offices have been built to be as sustainable as possible, and are deliberately not connected to the natural gas network – a decision taken at the outset.
The building has high-grade insulation throughout and LED lighting that ensures good quality lighting with a low power demand.
A heat recovery installation ensures optimum conditions for the lowest possible consumption and an air heat pump ensures that sufficient heat is produced and provides cooling on hot days. There are more than a hundred solar panels on the roof that provide the office’s required electricity.
‘If you have the choice to build traditionally or sustainably, it’s a decision that’s easily made. The extra costs of sustainable construction are relatively low and you keep you from paying more and more in energy costs,’ said said Derk Jan Berends, secretary of the Dutch Fishermen’s Association.
Office manager Angela van Overbeeke and Peter van den Berg who looks after employee projects and quota management, are also impressed with the new building.
‘For me, the best thing about the new building is that it’s really ‘our’ building. We used to rent offices, but having our own property gives us and our members a solid home base,’ Peter said.
‘It’s great to be able to welcome everyone in our own reception area, we didn’t have that possibility at the previous place. The fact that the meeting rooms are also located on the ground floor is very practical. The openness and transparency of the building contributes to a pleasant working environment, there is a lot of daylight and the climate system works very well,’ Angela added.