Parlevliet & Van der Plas was founded in 1949 by a group of friends; Dirk Parlevliet and brothers Dirk and Jan van der Plas. Initially the partners bought herring at the Dutch fish auctions to sell on the domestic market, and quickly became successful at their trade. As the family-run business grew more and more, they began to look further afield, and soon developed a burgeoning export market for their fish. 


The company entered a new phase when PP, as it is nicknamed, saw potential in catching fish as well as selling it, and started investing in pelagic fishing vessels. The first trawler "Jan Maria" came into service in 1959, and in 1967 the first freezer-trawler "Annie Hillina" was acquired. In 1986 Parlevliet & van der Plas diversified into demersal fishing and founded Doggerbank Seefischerei GmbH in Bremerhaven, Germany, which is a 100% daughter subsidiary. 

The Parlevliet & van der Plas group reinforced its position in Germany in 1998, with the acquisition of Mecklenburger Hochseefischerei GmbH (MHF), located in Rostock, Germany. Mecklenburger Hochseefischerei GmbH is also a 100% daughter subsidiary. A year later, in 1999, German Seafrozen Fish (GSF) was founded. GSF is responsible for the worldwide marketing of Parlevliet & Van der Plas' groundfish product range. Since 2002 the company’s head office has been located in Valkenburg (ZH), close to Katwijk, a former fishing village and the home town of both families. In 2003 Parlevliet & Van der Plas made one of the largest purchases in its history, with the acquisition of the one of the most technologically advanced fish processing plants in the world; Euro-Baltic Fisch Verarbeitungs GmbH in Rugen, Germany.