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FLAG factsheet - France - Mer et Terroirs du Cotentin et du Bessin

Offical name: 
Mer et Terroirs du Cotentin et du Bessin
Basse Normandie
Cotentin & Bessin
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Description of the area and its main challenges

The area straddles 2 départements (la Manche and Calvados) and is characterised by an important primary sector including fishing, shellfish farming and agriculture. Its shellfish production (scallops, mussels, and oysters) stands out in particular. At the same time, tourism is developing significantly (water sports, amateur fishing etc.), there are a growing number of second homes in the area and it also offers favourable conditions for the development of renewable energies. As such, the area is receiving increasing attention and the challenges it faces are increasing with the growing numbers of actors in the area.

Population: 101 285 inhabitants                                           Employment in fisheries: 1 070*

Surface area/km²: 1 427 km² Coastal or inland: coastal

Population density / inhabitants / km²: 70 inhab/km² Protected areas: 2 marine and inland Natura 2000 zones, regional Park of the Marais du Cotentin

* 470 jobs in the shellfish farming industry and 600 on board fishing vessels.

Main focus of FLAG strategy

The fishing and shellfish farming sectors are facing a structural crisis as well as new external elements (energy crisis, important marketing issues, environmental crisis, pressure on the coast...). The programme aims to preserve the sectors present in the area and to promote integration of fishing and shellfish farming into the local dynamics. In order to achieve this goal, the FLAG has developed a strategy based on 4 axes:

  • Integration of maritime activities in the territorial dynamics
  • Acquisition of environmental and biology-based knowledge – and its integration into professional approaches
  • Develop the value added of fisheries products and the attractiveness of jobs in the sector.
  • Reinforce the link between tourism activities and the valorisation of maritime activities.

Environmental management (1-5, where 5 is high priority and 1 is low priority) : 5

Improving the competitiveness of the fisheries sector (1 - 5) : 4

Diversification into other activities (1 - 5) : 3

Other: develop new partnerships and governance in the area : 5

Project examples and ideas
- Development of a shellfish route
- Development of a network for monitoring water quality
- Development of a system to coordinate information related to the sea activities
- Development of organised visits on fishing boats
- Organisation of sea fairs

Lead Partner /Responsible Legal Entity :  Mer et Terroirs Association of Cotentin and Bessin (set up by the professional fishing body of Basse Normandie (CRPM Basse Normandie) and the “section régionale” of shellfish farming (SRC) to respond to Axis 4 of the EFF).

Other key actors / organisations in the partnership : All main sectoral actors (professional bodies, amateur fishermen...), researchers such as IFREMER (French Research Institute for Sea Exploitation) and SMEL (Mixed Union for the Development of the Coast) as well as public actors including the départements, an inter-municipal body and development agencies.

Links with LEADER : 50% of the FLAG area is also covered by a Leader group (the municipalities in the Manche belong to both the FLAG and the Leader group). In terms of strategy, the Leader and EFF strategies are complementary with Leader focusing on local sectors of high value added in the fields of agriculture, tourism and sea products. In terms of technical support, the Leader group, the Pays du Cotentin, has supported the implementation of the EFF partnership and the writing of certain documents (action plan, selection grids...).

% of public actors : 45

% of fishery sector actors : 63

% of non-fisheries private / NGO sector actors : 4

% of environmental actors : 15

Number of individuals/organisations in partnership : 27

Number of individuals on main decision-making body : 4

Number of contracted staff in FLAG : 1 full-time animator


Total public funding 2007-2013 : € 1 000 000

EFF : €    500 000

Other public funding : €    500 000


FLAG Manager: 
Lucie Paghent
Other contact: 
President: Joseph Costard
AMTCB, Manoir de Cantepie, 17 rue de Cantepie, 50500-Les Veys
mer-et-terroir.cotentin.bessin ( at )
+33 7 86 15 64 04 / +33 2 33 71 61 90
Languages spoken: 
French, English