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High school project for sustainable fisheries - FLAG Lake Vänern - SE

This project supports the valorization of local species through an inclusive community initiative bringing together catering students, fishermen and local enterprises around a small but promising project to raise awareness and promote local and sustainable sourcing. 

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Around 130 fishermen operate on the local Lake Vänern, the largest freshwater lake in the European Union, and a UNESCO biosphere reserve, where local species such as burbot and vendace offer good potential for adding value.

As part of their training, catering students at La Gardie High School run a public restaurant in Lidköping, where they develop fine cuisine and original recipes with a specific emphasis on sustainability. In the second year of the course, students are required to put together their own menus, following specific criteria. This provided the opportunity to develop a project on sustainable fisheries based on the Swedish version of the WWF’s buyer’s list of fish and shellfish. This helped address students´ questions on:

> what fish and shellfish species should be used or avoided? 

> how the Swedish fishing industry is structured?

> how local species could provide a sustainable alternative? 

> how to connect with the local fisheries community? 

The project included training for students and teachers and started with visits by teachers, students and the school’s fish supplier as well as a local restaurant owner and a representative of the Lake Vänern fishermen to: 

> Gothenburg’s fish auction > seafood companies (Svensk Fisk AB) 

> restaurants (Sjömagasinet) 

> eco-training center (Ekocentrum Foundation)

Key lessons 

> Relevance to FARNET themes: Adding value to local fisheries products; environment, culture and society

> Effectiveness/efficiency: By the end of the visits, 90 people had been involved in the exchanges and the project proved very successful in raising interest amongst students in local species. The diversity and quantity of fish recipes in the catering restaurant has doubled (increased use of perch and pike-perch from Lake Vänern and now also serving burbot), now outweighing meat dishes. It has also motivated teachers and local fishermen to work more closely together and several fishermen have already expressed interest in being involved in follow up initiatives, such as taking students on fishing trips or testing new ways of preparing the catch. 

> Transferability: This low-cost project, fostering links with key stakeholders of a fisheries community, is easily transferable to other areas. One of the aims of Axis 4 is to actively involve younger people in local fisheries communities. This project illustrates some basic steps to achieving this: creating a group composed of education and fisheries representatives.

> Final Comment: The project demonstrated the successful involvement and knowledge transfer within a community with a long term vision. Although this was a small scale project, it has the potential to deliver longer term results by disseminating the outputs in subsequent training programmes and by capitalising the experience transversally within the community. 

Total cost and EFF contribution

Total Project cost: €15 380 (138 000 SEK)

  • Axis 4 contribution: €7 690 (50%) (69 000 SEK)
  • Other public: €5 851 (52 000 SEK) 

Project information

Title: High School Project for Sustainable Fisheries

Duration: May – October 2010

Case study date: April 2011

Project promoter:

De La Gardie High School, Lidköping

Coordinator: Gun Wallborg 

gun.wallborg (at) lidkoping.se

Lake Vänern FLAG factsheet