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Adding value to fisheries products

À l’Ostendaise Menu - FLAG West Flanders - BE

 À l’Ostendaise, brings together local fishermen and restaurants to create and promote a new market for local fish, turning them into quality dishes in Ostend’s top restaurants.



FARNET.lab "Marketing the Local Catch": Stockholm, Sweden - 3-5 June 2013

The 8th FARNET seminar took place from 3-5 of June 2013 in Stockholm, Sweden, introducing the FARNET.lab format to explore with FLAGs different possibilities for “Marketing the Local Catch”. Hosted by DG MARE of the European Commission, the Stockholm FLAG and Stockholm County Board, and supported by the Swedish Ministry of Rural Affairs, the seminar brought together more than 80 FLAGs coming from 20 different countries to explore how various marketing initiatives could be developed and promoted through Axis 4 of the EFF.

Through five lab themes, including “direct sales”, “digital marketplaces”, “short chains and Community Supported Fishery”, “branding and labelling”, and tapping into the "experience" aspects of local seafood products, participants analysed the pros and cons of projects and ideas, received feedback and advice from other FLAGs and experts from different, and sometimes distant, shores.


Participants of each lab produced a “Toolbox”, which will feed into further FARNET work, notably a follow up publication dedicated to the theme of “Marketing the Local Catch”. FARNET would like to thank all the participants, DG MARE and the Swedish partners for their involvement in making this 8th FARNET event a success.

The seminar report, presentations and participants list will be progressively available below and through our various communication platforms.

Cooperation between Europe’s most northerly FLAGs

Two of Europe’s most northerly FLAGs, Tornedalen & Haparanda Archipelago (Sweden) and Gulf of Bothnia (Finland), undertook a study visit to the Northern and Eastern Lapland FLAG area, in the north of Finland, from the 15-17 April.

The visit was hosted by the local FLAG and the Lokka Fishermen’s Cooperative and over the course of the three days the visitors learned about the activities of the cooperative and how it manages to sell fish products from the remote village of Lokka in the north of Finland to markets in the south of the country. They also learned about the benefits in terms of local employment, with whole families sometimes engaged in fishing.

Call for cooperation: Belgian venture looking for partners in ecological and economic sustainability

Pintafish is a new cooperative venture between small-scale fishers and a niche retail company experienced in ‘green products’, to sell sustainably caught fish from the Belgian North Sea directly to consumers throughout Belgium and so ensure a good financial return for the fishers.

Active in the the area of the Belgian FLAG West Vlaanderen, Pintafish is looking for contact with similar ventures in other countries and FLAG areas, to learn from each others’ experience of how small-scale/artisanal fishers can successfully catch and market fish which is sustainable, and in doing so, earn an income which guarantees the socio-economic viability of the fishers themselves.

Pescatourisme, FLAG Var, France

This project transfers and adapts pesca-tourism experience gained in Italy to the context of fishermen in the Var, France. Over a three year period, local actors, supported by Axis 4, have worked to establish the conditions necessary to promote pesca-tourism in the area. Fishermen have worked with local and regional authorities, environmental groups and the tourism department of the Var in order to put in place appropriate safety rules, ensure the necessary adaptations to fishing boats, and develop a coordinated tourist offer that could be promoted through the local tourist offices. Between 2009 and 2010 a total of 12 boats were equipped and approved for pesca-tourism activities. The fishermen involved have been seeing additional revenue of 30-70% for days when they take tourists out to demonstrate their profession.    

• Total cost: €277 590 
• FLAG contribution: 31.9% (€86 140)
• Regional match-funding:

Provence-Alpes Côte d'Azur: 52.4%
The Var Département: 10.5%
The "Communauté d'agglomération" (inter-municipal body) of Toulon -- Provence -- Méditerranée: 5.2%


More information:


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New seaweed products, FLAG Bornholm & FLAG Small Islands, Denmark

 Danish waters produce high quality seaweed which, until now, has not been exploited commercially as there is no tradition of eating seaweed in Denmark. However, with the recent growth in the sushi market and New Nordic Cuisine, the Danish Small Islands FLAG and the Bornholm FLAG, both situated in remote areas where depopulation and a loss of business opportunities are serious concerns, have identified a new opportunity: the two FLAGs are cooperating in a project to create and develop a range of new local products that use seaweed as a raw material. 
This project brings together local producers, including fish farmers, mussel growers and processors to promote the sustainable cultivation, harvesting and processing of seaweed.
• Axis 4 contribution: €84 492 (70% small island FLAG - 30% Bornholm FLAG)
• National co-financing: €13 411 
• Other public match-funding: (Danish Food Industry Agency) Marketing €17 435 
• Private: Southern Funen National Park Project €40 234 and voluntary work: € 2 682

More information:


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Fisch vom Kutter, FLAG Ostseeküste, Germany

Jan Meyer has been fishing since 1973, but with the evolution of the fishing industry, he has increasingly seen low or highly fluctuating prices for species such as cod or flounder, which are generally sold via wholesale. This project aims to tackle this issue by selling part of the catch directly to the final customer. By developing an innovative new website, Jan and his son are now able to inform customers about their catch in "real time". On the website, fishermen can send details of their catch via SMS while at sea and customers can see where, when and what fish are available. Coupled with information boards at the landing sites and a brochure, "Fisch vom Kutter", the project is increasing the amount and value of direct sale of freshly caught fish in the region of Ostseeküste, as well as fostering links between producers and customers.

Total Cost: approx. €21 000
Axis 4 contribution: €9 600
National /Regional co-financing: €
Private match funding: in kind and voluntary work

More information:


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27 Percebeiros, FLAG Ría de Vigo, Spain

Axis 4 played a fundamental role in supporting a group of 27 shellfish gatherers to set up a company that would develop and market new products from goose barnacles, a highly sought after shellfish in Spain. The new products include natural canned barnacles and barnacle pâté with seaweed, which are now sold in gourmet outlets around the country. The idea is to add value to smaller sized barnacles, which are harvested to avoid them colonising the larger and more profitable barnacles but which fetch a considerably lower price. The project has taken these 27 barnacle gatherers into new areas of activity in which they are learning new skills and set to generate extra revenue while strengthening the market for their raw material. This project cost EUR 131 667 and received a grant of EUR 45 833 from the Ría de Vigo FLAG (ES07).    
• Total Cost: €131 667 (of which €91 667.00 eligible for Axis 4 funding)
• Axis 4 contribution: €27 958.44
• National /Regional co-financing: €8 937.53 (nat) + €8 937.53 (reg)
• Private match-funding: €45 833.50

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Smoked Weever Fish - FLAG Læsø, Samsø, Ærø - DK

On the island of Læsø, a local fisherman used Axis 4 to invest in developing a new range of products based on an undervalued species, the weever fish. By adding value to this local resource and creating an “iconic” product, he is encouraging more people to discover the fish itself but also the island. 


Promoting fish markets & a fish culture - FLAG Noord Holland - NL

In Noord-Holland three markets have transformed the act of buying fresh fish into a cultural and culinary experience where customers can also learn about fishing and the “route to market” for their plaice or hake. As local tourism attractions, these markets are now providing wider benefits for the area and other regional certificated food products.