Urk as the seafood hub of the world

The Municipality of Urk is a place where developments, growth and cooperation provide the ideal conditions to facilitate the Seafood Industry. The village breathes Seafood and the municipality supports the many entrepreneurs, working residents and stakeholders as much as possible. With a good number of businesses, can-do mentality and a look ahead, Urk is the Seafood Hub to and from the world!

Facilitating the growth of Seafood

Urk City Councilor of Economic Affairs(Fisheries) Nathanaël Middelkoop stands firm for the Seafood industry. The Municipality of Urk lends its support to this pillar of the local economy.

‘Fishing and entrepreneurship is in every Urker’s genes’

What began as a small fishing village on the Zuiderzee has grown into a large seafood community connected to the mainland. The Municipality of Urk is committed to providing the best possible support to businesses and citizens active in seafood. The municipality does this, for example, by investing in greening, cooperation, knowledge and innovation. For example, a cold heat network is currently being developed that uses residual heat from the seafood industry to heat homes and businesses.


Already around the year 1600, the islanders of Urk were active in fishing on the Zuiderzee. It even grew to face the North Sea around the seventeenth century. With the loss of land to the sea, the economy began to focus more and more on fishing. When the afsluitdijk was built, connecting the island to the mainland, and the Zuiderzee disappeared into the freshwater IJsselmeer, the residents did not let themselves be thrown off guard. Freshwater fishing emerged on the IJsselmeer, and with modifications to the fleet, the North Sea continued to be fished as well. That spirit of innovation and resilience is constantly reflected in the history of the village. Thus, the current growth of the Seafood industry is focused on switching from local fishing to fish imported from Scandinavia, Scotland and the rest of the world! Urkers do not see obstacles but opportunities! The municipality sees these developments and facilitates space for entrepreneurs, services and sustainability.

Developments continue

With the construction of the Port of Urk business park as the next step in the growth of the fish processing and processing industry, the municipality is betting on space and opportunity for further development for entrepreneurs. This is reflected in the heat network to be developed, as well as building a smart energy hub, and local efforts are being made in the areas of water consumption and processing residual products.

Collaboration and expertise

In addition to these initiatives, the municipality is emphasizing the promotion of business-to-business cooperation and the implementation of park management in industrial areas. Strengthening the maritime education of the maritime campus should also lead to young people in the future being able to do their part in maintaining and growing the seafood industry and the local economy. The commitment here is a future-proof industry that is resilient and agile to new changes.


This is a recurring word in Urk for the past several decades. The switch from agriculture to fishing, the transition from Zuiderzee to IJsselmeer, as well as the effects of Brexit are good examples of how strong Urk is. Any economic or political blows are not only absorbed by Urk’s stable position as an international seafood hub, but they give reason for innovation, growth and strengthening of the industry. The local cluster Urk Seafood can therefore guarantee stable cooperation with parties from home and abroad!!!

Facts & stats

Euro turnover in 2023

Kilo of fish processed

Kilo fish traded

People working

Companies in Urk

Countries supplied