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Local Cofradías (Fishermen’s associations) involving more than 500 Galician fishermen and shellfish producers teamed up to develop a pilot online sales platform. The platform aims to diversify the customer base, add value to local Galician seafood and shorten the distribution chain of local fisheries products.

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Facing an economic crisis hitting their existing customer base, local Galician Cofradías, individual fishermen,shellfish and barnacle pickers needed to find new consumers and retailers for their products. Together, they approached the Costa da Morte FLAG to develop an online sales platform to sell their local seafood outside their traditional customer circles.

This “shop window” of local Galician seafood helps them connect with a new range of customers all across Spain, looking for fresh, traceable products coming right from the boat of a fisherman. Customers (individuals or professionals such as restaurants) place their orders by phone or on-line at a price which represents the maximum price they agree to pay for the product. The platform groups the orders and commissions one of the participating Cofradía to buy back some of its fishermen’s catch within the limit of the maximum price agreed. Shipment is then handled by the sales platform. Thanks to the involvement of Cofradías, provides its customers with a “buyer’s seat” at the auction, ensuring a fair price to the fishermen, while enabling customers to cut out the middleman and shorten the distance separating them from the freshest local seafood.                                       

Key lessons

> Relevance to FARNET themes: Adding value to local catch

> Results: For products such as cockles, which show a generally stable price throughout the year, the platform has enabled to raise first sale prices by 15% on average. For the Anllons cockle pickers, selling through secured a 25% increase in generated income compared with selling to classic intermediaries. In 2012, +/- 8 tonnes of seafood was sold through generating approximately €25 000. Around 3 tonnes were sold in 2013, mostly because of the weather conditions that severely impacted the autumn and winter season; a period where demand is traditionally higher.

> Transferability: web based sales platforms are versatile tools which open up many new market possibilities for local producers. Complexity, costs and efficiency can vary, and FLAGs can support less experienced project holders by bringing external expertise and advice. In this example, the project was launched by the FLAG, and management outsourced to a specialised company at the beginning. It was successfully handed over in summer 2012 to the Cofradias which have since been in charge of the management and maintenance of the sales platform.

> Final Comment: The project illustrates how, by acting collectively and acquiring new IT skills, fishermen can strengthen their ownership of the marketing chain of local products while still complying with the auction obligation. Selling to customers across Spain, the demand is mostly concentrated in Madrid, Asturias and Galicia. The scheme chose to reinvest these benefits into its fisheries community, covering part of the management costs of a centre offering community infrastructure for shellfish pickers, surveillance of the shellfish picking grounds against illegal captures and complementing a community insurance fund.




Total cost and EFF contribution

Total Project total: €59 171

EFF Axis 4: €40 828 (69%)

National/Regional co-financing: €18 343

Private match funding: the work of the members of the Cofradía was counted as investment in kind






Duration:  2011 to 2012: pilot phase / 2012 to present: managed by fishermen   


Case study date:  February 2014


Project promoter          

Costa da Morte FLAG                

Guillermo González Diez

Email: gac3 (at)

Tel. +34 626 104 619

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