Dutch Merchant Marine and Agriculture

In 2016 Dutch ocean shipping had approximately 800 companies. The number of merchant and sea towage vessels under the Dutch flag has grown by 43% in the last seven years from approximately 750 ships in 2006 to 1,059 vessels under the Dutch flag in 2016. The total merchant and sea towage fleet under Dutch management on 31 December 2016 comprised a total of 2,012 ships . The average age of the Dutch ships is only 12.5 years. That is about half the life time of an average ship. The Dutch fleet is therefore very modern.

As an outsider and citizen of a postage stamp sized country, which has 19.1 times less inhabitants than the USA, I am therefore surprised about the mini size of the US fleet. The numbers should be the other way around. What went wrong?

How many of the seafarers working on Dutch vessels are actually Dutch?

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The Dutch and other successful European shipping companies are generally run by people that understand shipping rather than the MBA equiped Masters of the Universe who think that they can run anything.

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In 2016, the Dutch merchant fleet numbered 768 ships and employed nearly 20,000 sailors. Only 4,579 positions on board were filled by Dutch sailors and trainees.

If exclusively Dutch crew and officers were allowed then we could man 176 ships, about the size of the American fleet now, instead of 768 ships. Young people are not interested in a career in the maritime industry any more. Reasons are the lack of social contacts, no partying during the weekends, the irregular working hours also during night time and the lack of opportunity to spend time ashore. I might add to that the poor quality microwave heated meals and the ever smaller accommodation these days.

There’s your problem, IMO. Who would trade broodje for that?

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These are make or break industries for countries such as the Netherlands. Given that you have Rotterdam and Amsterdam and your entire population is within an hour drive of both ports, it is understandable that the population would protect the Dutch flag. Add in several million square miles of farmland, and see if that’s still true.

We put that farmland to good use and it is a major contributor, despite our small size, of our economy. The Netherlands is the second largest agricultural exporter in the world, after the United States. The Dutch agricultural sector exported 94.5 billion euros worth of products last year. That’s a record. Never before has the Netherlands exported a greater amount of agricultural goods.

The innovation in Dutch agriculture is amazing to see. If you’re there go check out there intensive agriculture methods. Most of which I saw is done without a lot of chemicals which in itself was interesting. They even have a few floating farms which is appropriate for them.

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Koopvaardij = Merchant Marine
VOC = Dutch East India Company
Marine = Navy
Visserij = Fishing fleet
Walvisvaart = Whalers

At its peak between 1660 and 1670, the Republic’s merchant fleet consisted of some 2,600 seagoing ships weighing over 100 tons, dropping to some 2,200 in 1700. The English fleet had grown from 700 to some 1,400 by then.

More crew members and ships in the 1600’s then these days but the ship’s were weighing much less but nevertheless.

Qua Patet Orbis - As far as the world stretches • Motto of the Royal Marines.

The Marine Corps founded December 10,1665 is the elite part of the Royal Netherlands Navy and one of the oldest military units of the current Dutch armed forces. The Marine Corps consists of infantrymen who serve on warships. The infantrymen were tasked with carrying out landings on land and operations at sea. For instance the 1000 soldiers divided among the ships were also intended to be able to board enemy ships.

One speaks of Former-Marine instead of Ex-Marine because of the fact that as a Marine you are seen as a “Marine for life”. Hence the statement: Once a Marine, always a Marine. Since the 1990s, the force has been increasingly deployed in operations on land in the context of crisis management. Amphibious operations, however, are the specialty of the corps.

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So they want Doggerland back?

It would be a disaster for marine life as the North Sea will soon turn into a giant fresh water lake. It would be even more disastrous for shipping and thus the economy. How many locks do you need for the enormous flotilla of ships, both ways. The delays and consequent enormous extra costs would be staggering. No way…

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We better move the Dutch population to rather empty areas like Norway and Sweden who then can profit from our immense experience in different areas. Clearly a win win situation. The Norwegians and Swedes will warmly applaud this I expect.

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If that was only possible…

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Doggerland or Doggersland was a vast area between England and continental Europe. During periods of low sea level, this area was part of the dry bottom of the southern North Sea. This was the case during every ice age. The last time this took place during the Weichselian, the cold period that ended about 11,000 years ago. About 8,200 years ago, the last dry remnant after the Storegga landslides would have been lost.

This Dogger could carry about 8 Last. ‘Omtrent’ means about. A last is an ancient unit of weight of 3010 liters. This ship could carry 8 times that amount is 24080 liters and that is a little over 24 tons.

Doggerland is named after the Dogger Bank. Dogger is an old Dutch word for a fishing boat which was used to fish for cod (Old Dutch: dogghe). The Doggers were considered as stable and reliable ships.

Measured by the length of a standing figure and that of the ship with an estimated man’s length of 1.6 m in these days, the ship length is about 9.15 meters. With a B/D of 4.5 the width is 2 meters. With a Cb of 0.73 the draft is 1.8 meters. The weight is then 24.046 tons

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Another dreamer project:
In the 1920s, the German ‘visionary’ Sörgel projected to cut the Strait of Gibraltar with a dam.

The following lowering of the Mediterranean Sea’s level would permit to install gigantic hydroelectric power stations in the dam, and to open new territories for settlements and agriculture…

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I have a better solution; Norway use some of it’s enormous wealth to buy the Canary Islands and move the majority of the population there, especially everybody over 60.
Leaving the “specially interested” behind to supervise and guide the Dutch that move in to do the work and till the soil without having to worry about leaking dikes etc.
PS> There is already an active recruiting campaign going on to attract Dutch families to settle in remove parts of Norway where the population is falling fast:

Quite a few Dutch families have taken over farms in this part of Norway (the NW Coast) They have even established the tradition of the New Year Swim here in Ålesund:

Here is a video of the Dutch colony in Ålesund (and some Norwegians) that took the dive in 2015:


PS> The Dutch are recognizable by the orange hats
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What to do with the people already living on the Canary Isles you ask??
They will be fully employed to look after the Norwegian and other pensioners that settle there, just like they are now.

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Some good suggestions to follow up on. Be quick to buy the Canaries as I heard that Trump is also interested to swap it with Hawaii. You can then move to that island group instead of the Canaries.

A Dutch genetic defect in the brain. We like cold water dives. This is the New Years dive of 2020 held traditionally on the beach of Scheveningen.

I suppose I am also subject to genetic abuse as, after my morning’s warm shower I turn the cold water tap all the way to its coldest position and have, especially in winter, an ice cold shower for three minutes. Very refreshing, I can recommend it. Or as they say these days: I endorse this message. However, I do not wear an orange cap then! I do that already for many years, perhaps thirty or so. Scheveningen is only once a year, good for amateurs.

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Doggers has a different meaning in English.Check on urban dictionary.

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Lots of orange hats here.