Archive for the ‘Flag 3 (FARNET)’ Category

Keeping fishing active and safe during the sanitary crisis

Posted on: September 3rd, 2021 by Margaret

Motivated to support the sector and avoid serious economic consequences, the Basque FLAG implemented measures to involve the fisheries sector in potential solutions. In April and May, the Basque FLAG cooperated with 12 fishers’ associations (cofradías) to acquire personal protective equipment (masks, gloves, overalls, etc.), and safeguard the sector’s economic activities.

The project, pending FLAG funding, received financing from the cofradías. The FLAG oversaw the collection of protective items, purchased through the regional government of the Basque Country, prepared the packages for each cofradía and distributed them. The first order was distributed in the second week of April, and by May the FLAG had distributed three rounds of packages,  including 40 000 masks and 5 000 pairs of gloves, for almost 3 000 workers (including fishers, auction staff and marketers).

Net mending: preserving tradition through diversification

Posted on: August 13th, 2020 by Margaret

Net mending, a sector which overwhelmingly relies on women, has long been underestimated and unknown to a large part of society, despite it being a fundamental auxiliary activity to fishing. There are no formal schools for this profession, so net makers treasure their artisanal knowledge, which has been passed down from generation to generation. Over the years and with practice, they can master the subtle art of net making.

With the support of their respective FLAGs, the net makers associations of Malpica, Corme, Burela, and A Guarda, decided to collaborate to increase the visibility of the profession and showcase the value to their work. Their main objectives were to promote their activity as well as to increase their income through diversification.

To make this possible, the associations involved in the project participated in a number of dissemination events, as well as in exhibitions and craft fairs where they could showcase their handmade products, created from the materials they use daily. Informative workshops were held targeting all kinds of audiences, contributing to increased awareness about the difficulty of this activity and its importance for seafarers.

In addition, and in cooperation with the Galician Crafts Foundation (‘Fundación Centro Galego de Artesanía e de Deseño’), they initiated a training programme for the creation of handmade objects, usually accessories and jewellery, using materials that net makers traditionally use in their work: nets, needles, ropes… These were then sold at the official sales points of the Galician crafts brand (‘Artesanía de Galicia‘) and to different fashion and craft shops. With the help of the regional federation for net making, which joined forces with these four associations, the project was eventually extended to the entire Galician net makers collective.

Reviving the fisheries sector by promoting local seafood

Posted on: August 13th, 2020 by Margaret

The Opale Coast and Three Estuaries FLAGs, which cover the region, surveyed the stakeholders in the areas seafood sector at the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown, with the objective of collecting their ideas for strengthening local production and its sustainability when economic activity resumes.

Stakeholders identified promotion and communication as being important in the survey. As such, the FLAGs have now developed a promotion campaign with the help of a communications consultancy. The campaign consisted of two fun and playful and educational advertisements over a double-page spread in local and regional newspapers focused on both fishing and aquaculture products.

The campaign, which ran for a total of five weeks, was based on promoting local seafood, as well as training opportunities, meaning it was also able to promote the generational renewal of the sector. Twice a week, readers were able to discover local recipes cooking techniques, enjoy a seafood quiz, and acquire ‘tips’ related to the specific fishing activity featured that week. Each of the weekly campaign instalments were translated into English for wider distribution.

Becoming self-sufficient through renewables

Posted on: August 13th, 2020 by Margaret

Eastern Asturias FLAG has supported the cofradía (fishing organisation) of Bustio to finance two projects with the aim of making its land-based operations 100% self-sufficient in renewable energy. The first one, implemented in 2014, consisted of solar panels connected to the national energy network. However, without energy storage capacity, the solar panels could only supply the energy needed at certain times of the day.

In order to achieve a total energy autonomy, in 2017, the cofradía decided to add storage batteries to allow surplus energy to be collected and used when needed. This second project also included wind turbines and a biodiesel generator to cover production downturns when there is a lack of wind and sun.

In view of the cofradia of Bustio’s commitment to transforming the fishing sector towards a low-carbon economy, the implementation of these projects brings environmental benefits by helping to reduce the CO2 footprint and the emission of polluting gases. Reducing the energy cost of activities such as labelling, auctioning or the storage of fresh fish also brings financial benefits. Given the success of the projects, the Asturian government is now studying how to transfer the use of renewables to the other cofradías of the region.

An aquarium supplied by local fishermen on the Wild Atlantic Way

Posted on: August 13th, 2020 by Margaret

Achill Island, a big focus of recreational fishing tourism until the 80’s, suffered a decline due to the reduction (or elimination) of certain species. Although it continued to be an important enclave of tourism, the lack of any indoor tourist activities made it less attractive to tourists. Local fishermen were therefore invited to provide the most unusual catches available in local waters, such as multi-coloured lobsters, to showcase the local fisheries wealth through the creation of the first local aquarium in Co. Mayo.

The aquarium was planned as an attraction to encourage visitors stay in the area when it is raining. Some 18 000 visitors came in the first months of opening in 2016, so the project was extended to also include a fisheries heritage museum. In 2019, visitor numbers were up to  almost 30 000 and, while previously during the low season months (November to May) the area and surrounding towns, such as Westport, were almost empty, today a significant number of families come to the aquarium throughout the year.

The project has created six full-time and three part-time jobs for local residents, mostly relatives of fishers. A marine biologist volunteer assists in the maintenance of the aquarium and has recently also developed a Marine Conservation Presentation for “transition year” students.

  • New indoor tourist facility in Achill
  • 98 000 tourists and 1500 students received since 2016
  • 6 full-time and 3 part-time jobs created in the local area
  • Local network with other tourist stakeholders created

As in this case, local areas should look for the necessary elements to capitalize on their potential, taking advantage of the existing goods to find solutions for local problems.

Lessons & contribution to CLLD objectives:

Lessons: One of the biggest challenges was the access to and securing of funding due to the strict limits for public money, for which the Aquarium and Visitor Centre needed to be included in local development schemes to access to alternative funds.

Contribution to CLLD objective: b) Supporting diversification inside or outside commercial fisheries and job creation on the areas

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Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs
European Structural and Investment Funds
Ards and North Down Borough Council
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council