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Fishing organisation diversifies its ice production - FLAG Litoral Costa Ebre - ES

This project offers an example of how fishing organisations can be innovative in seeking to safeguard and improve their revenue by diversifying their traditional activities (in this case ice production) and tapping into new markets (tourism and restaurants).


Many fishing organisations, or “Cofradías”, in Spain produce ice for the local fishing boats they serve, allowing them in turn to derive some income from this service. However, the reduction in the number of fishing boats based in Ametlla de Mar, Catalonia, resulted in a decrease in the demand for ice of 17% from 2009 to 2010.

Faced with the prospect of laying off one of its two staff members, the Cofradía decided to diversify its ice producing activities and seek out new markets. With support from the Delta del Ebro FLAG, the Cofradía adapted its ice making equipment so that it could produce ice-cubes for local restaurants and bars. Taking advantage of the touristy nature of the area, the Cofradía linked up with the local tourism agency and local distributors to secure clients for what is already proving to be a profitable activity.


Key lessons 

Relevance to FARNET themes: Diversification activities for fishing organisations; attracting private investment, opening up new markets.

Results: This is a consolidated project that has been running and producing profits for some time. As a result, the cofradía produced around 40 000 kg of ice cubes in 2010, which translated into a turnover €46 000. Besides maintaining the 2 jobs mentioned, it also allowed the cofradía to create a new part-time job towards the end of 2009 which became full-time in 2010.

Transferability: Ice production is common to many fishing organisations around Europe. The idea of building on this activity is transferrable to many types of areas with a strong presence of tourism, bars and restaurants.

Final Comment: This project offers a good example of how an imaginative idea has allowed a fishermen’s organisation not only to remain viable but to expand its activities into new and productive areas.

Total cost and EFF contribution

Total Project cost: €198 903

  • Axis 4 contribution: €24 878
  • National/Regional co-financing: €49 571
  • Private matching funding: €115 454

Project information

Title: Fishing organisation diversifies its ice production

Duration: 1 year (May 2009 – May 2010)
Case study date: March 2012

Project promoter:
Confraria de pescadors l’Ametlla de Mar
Juan Llambrich & Tomás Margalef
secretari (at)
Litoral Costa Ebre FLAG factsheet