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Supporting Seafood Businesses

A combination of one-to-one engagement with local fisheries businesses, networking them with each other and the provision of business mentoring support has helped improve the supply of local fish into the Northern Devon market and create new economic activities.

This CLLD example will soon be available in the other languages.




The Northern Devon FLAG commissioned an in-depth study of the market and supply chain for fish caught and landed in its area, which provided it with the knowledge necessary to target support at different local seafood businesses. It then employed a full-time Community Seafood Officer to raise awareness in the community of the local catch and help new and existing businesses through a range of tailored support initiatives.

This included: direct advice to existing companies, such as fishmongers; mentoring of new businesses by more experienced ones; facilitating access to professional business advice; and tailored training courses to address the identified knowledge gaps such as a general understanding of the local fisheries industry, how to market local seafood as a food business, bringing a new food product to market and how to cook and prepare local fish and shellfish species.

Networking support was also provided to improve linkages between the different actors along the supply chain (fishermen, retailers, wholesalers, restaurants etc.) so they could build lasting and mutually beneficial working relationships. Specific activities included supplier visits, the organisation of bilateral meetings as well as industry events and the development of a retail and supplier contact list.

  • Results: The project resulted in a greater visibility of the local seafood sector (including a regular fishing column in the local newspaper), better connections between local businesses and a number of new and improved companies, including:
    • 3 start-ups: Seadog Foods (winner of the 2016 British Street Food Awards); Sunfish Cuisine, offering gourmet hampers and barbeque fish boxes; and the seafood shack and catering company, the “Glorious Oyster”.
    • Improved operations of a small fishmonger (including new signage and advertising, promotion of their sea-to-plate story on their menus and branded cool bags to tap into tourist sales).

    On top of the three new companies created, two part-time jobs (1 FTE) and two seasonal jobs were also created and two full-time jobs maintained. A North Devon “Seafood Academy” was also set up and now provides practical training courses to local businesses in fish preparation, cooking and marketing.

  • Transferability: Most FLAGs could consider supporting similar activities, in particular where much of the value of the fish landed locally leaves the area due to weaknesses in the local value chain (lack of sales outlets or local processing for example)

  • Lessons: Obtaining a clear understanding of weaknesses and opportunities that might be addressed by local fisheries businesses through own research and potentially an independent study is vital in order to target support where most needed and most likely to have an impact.

  • Contribution to CLLD objective: Adding value along the fisheries supply chain, creating jobs