IJmuiden owes its successful port to the opening of the North Sea Canal in 1876. Before that time there was no alternative between Rotterdam and Den Helder to sail inland from the sea and reach Amsterdam.

Initially, the entrance to the North Sea Canal Area was only used by fishing boats seeking refuge on the North Sea. But the fresh fish supplied by these boats soon attracted traders to IJmuiden and the Vissershaven was put into use in 1896. Increasing numbers of traders and shipping companies settled in IJmuiden. Then in 1899, the National Fish Auction was opened to improve organisation of the growing fish trade. In collaboration with the port management, the Auction was transformed into Staatsvissershavenbedrijf in 1914.
In 1918, the increasing supply of herring led to the opening of a dedicated dock for herring named Haringhaven.

And on 10 April 1989, Staatsvissershavenbedrijf was privatised through the foundation of Zeehaven IJmuiden N.V.