The INTERREG 2 Seas Programme Authorities and the TourFish (Tourism for Food, Inshore Fishing and Sustainability) cluster partners will be holding a European event on 23rd and 24th of June 2014 in Hastings, UK. The 2-day event will focus on how agro-food, fisheries and responsible tourism can work together to deliver new opportunities for sustainable development along the coast and in the towns and countryside in the 2 Seas area. Producers (farmers and fishers), tourism professionals and educationalists are invited to come together to share ideas and experiences of combining food, fisheries and tourism. Click here for the programme and registration.
Over 50 participants attended a seminar in Madrid on the 6th and 7th May to discuss the “present and future of Axis 4 in Spain”. Around 30 FLAG representatives as well as representatives from Spain’s coastal regions, national Managing Authority and the European Commission met to discuss the results of the programme to date and how best to ensure that community-led local development is effective in Spain’s fisheries areas in the future. Through a series of presentations of local projects from around Spain and other countries, the first day was aimed at sharing results of the current period and setting objectives for the next. Day 2 focused on more technical issues and, in particular, on how to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the programme going forward. Andres Hermida, Director-General of Fisheries in Spain, expressed his optimism for what local development could offer fisheries communities and drew two key conclusions from the 2 days’ discussions: the importance of reducing eligibility uncertainty for the FLAGs in the future and the necessity to re-launch the national FLAG network.
Two Members of the European Parliament (Mr Chris Davies and Mr Pat the Cope Gallagher) are organizing a hearing within the European Parliament in Brussels to present the Axis 4 approach to their fellow MEPs. This hearing will take place during the lunch break of PECH Committee meeting of November 6th.
We are encouraging FLAGs, and other stakeholders, to draw the attention of their local MEP to this event and motivate them to take part. The objective of the hearing is to inform MEPs from different committees and Member States about the Commission’s proposal for the sustainable development of fisheries areas within the future Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).
The 2nd meeting of FARNET Germany will be hosted on September 24th and 25th by the FLAG Karpfenteichregion Oberlausitz” (Saxony), enabling German FLAGs to discover and experience the diversity of the German fishing areas.
Newspiece provided by FARNET Germany*
The second annual conference of Spain´s National Network for Women in Fisheries (Malaga, 24-25 October) brought together close to 400 participants: women from around Spain (fisherwomen, net-workers, shellfish gatherers, harbour workers…) as well as national and regional administrations and a series of speakers to address the theme of female entrepreneurship. Speeches by Rosa Aguilar Rivero, Minister for Environmental, Rural and Marine Affairs, and Alicia Villauriz, Secretary-General of Marine Affairs, both mentioned the important contribution that Axis 4 of the EFF could make to supporting women in the fisheries sector to consolidate or embark upon new economic activities. Monica Burch from the FARNET Support Unit was also among the panelists and gave a number of concrete examples of how this was happening around Europe. Spanish project promoters and FLAG Managers were also present to share their experience. Spain has recently signed an agreement with Women´s World Banking to facilitate micro-finance and business support to women in fisheries.
France held its second annual Axis 4 event in St Raphaël on the 28th-30th September. The conference brought together FLAG managers and partners, members of the Managing Authority and Paying Agency, as well as stakeholders such as the National Fisheries Committee and the National Aquaculture Committee. The event included site visits to three of the local (Var) FLAG´s projects: a pesca-tourism project, a coastal trail project that uses new technologies to digitalize and promote coastal resources and the local Prud´homie (fishing organization) and Town Hall´s project to put in place a restricted fishing zone. These visits, as well as the material displayed by a number of the French FLAGs, offered some convincing evidence of the benefits that Axis 4 is starting to have in France. The rest of the event was dedicated to work shop and panel discussions on how to improve Axis 4 in the future. A number of key messages emerged, including the necessity to ensure a smooth transition to the next programming period, the need for budgets to be large enough to provide the necessary resources for animation and the importance of guaranteeing that the fishing community remained at the heart of Axis 4.
The French FLAGs from Marennes Oléron and Arcachon initiated their cooperation programme with a first meeting hosted by the Marennes Oléron FLAG on the island of St Pierre d'Oléron between the 27th and 28th of April.
The meeting was designed to bring together professional fishermen and shellfish producers of both areas to exchange experience on common problems, including the development of pesca-tourism, the legal constraints around diversification of activities and the causes and economic consequences of oyster mortality in both areas.
At the initiative of the FLAG Sotavento, which will be operating the Portuguese National FLAG Network until August 2011, the third national encounter of FLAGs took place in Algarve in the city of Olhão in conjunction with the 8th edition of the EXPOMAR exhibition, one of the largest maritime events in Portugal, gathering maritime and fisheries professional organisations, private companies, associations, universities and administrations.
The Spanish Network held a meeting the 30th March where FLAGs agreed that a network to promote contacts and cooperation with other Mediterranean FLAGs would be beneficial. The proposal, originally made by the Catalan FLAG, Litoral Costa Ebre, could see the development of a network along the lines of the Baltic Sea Region Network. However, further discussions need to be held with the other Mediterranean countries in question.
The network meeting also covered an overview of 2010 activities which revealed that the Spanish FLAGs had approved 96 projects which between them represent a total budget of €16 million. 51% of these projects are expected to create jobs. Another interesting point from the meeting was an announcement that the Ministry for the Environment, Agriculture and Fisheries had established contact with the national tourism institute with a view to developing marine tourism products. As such, work is due to start on market studies and common definitions for such activities.
French FLAGs and local, regional and national fishing committees met in March to discuss pesca-tourism in France and, in particular, how to move towards developing a specific legal framework for the activity. The event was hosted by Marco Polo Echanger Autrement and co-organised with the Var FLAG.
With support from Axis 4, Marco Polo has led a project since 2009 to explore conditions necessary for putting pesca-tourism in place in
the Var (type of pesca-tourism possible; safety conditions to respect; legal issues…) and to trial such activities.
The National Department of Maritime Affairs and a number of other stakeholders also participated in the discussions and work is ongoing to find a legal framework which meets the needs of the various fishing communities around France as well as the conditions necessary to ensure the safety of tourists taking part in the activity.
A full case study on Marco Polo´s pilot project has been developed and will be available shortly on the FARNET website.
More information: the Var FLAG