“Support for diversification” is the second objective mentioned in Axis 4 for the sustainable development of fisheries areas (Article 43.2b). It generally involves working to improve the linkages between fisheries and other economic sectors rather than linkages within the fisheries supply chain as in the previous section.
Both the EFF Regulation and the FLAGs tend to look at diversification in a number of main ways - usually starting with activities closely related to fisheries and then broadening out. For example, many local strategies focus on tourism as a means to “restructure and redirect” economic activities like local restaurants, markets, shops and leisure activities that can both complement and have a strong multiplier effect on local fisheries (Article 44.1b).
However, the Regulation also allows FLAGs to promote any economic activity, regardless of its links to fisheries, which provides alternative employment directly for fishermen and women (Article 44.1c). Finally, the Regulation allows for investments in alternative economic activities which “strengthen the competitiveness of fisheries areas" (Article 44.1a) - regardless of whether they are directly linked to fisheries or provide employment for fishers.
The last two broader types of diversification open the door to all kinds of “smart, green and inclusive growth” sectors that are recommended in the proposed new strategy for Europe 2020. Most investments in these sectors will be productive and require private cofinancing as in the case of adding value to fisheries products.
In order to assist in the exchange of good practice between FLAGs, diversification will be analysed in terms of the new emerging sectors in fisheries areas and as well as their links to fisheries, for example:
These are fields in which LEADER groups have a particularly rich experience. Some of this experience can provide inspiration for the FLAGs and will be covered in this part of the website.
"Sea sponges could be used on an industrial scale to soak up pesticides, lead and even dangerous bacteria from Europe’s coastline."
The Axis 4 project "sponges for water quality", led by Professor Pierre Sauleau from Université Sud Bretagne (France), the CRC (Shellfish Committee) of Bretagne Sud, and supported by the Auray FLAG during the 2007-2014 Axis4 programming period, was recently selected for publication by the Horizon Magazine. It illustrates the importance of partnerships that bring research, fisheries and aquaculture professionals together and highlights the benefits of the FLAG's "bridging" role and how this can help the scientific community to focus their research on topics with real practical application.
Read the full article here.
This brochure has been developed for the "Sailing towards 2020" event, it highlights facts, figures and success stories from the 2007/2013 Axis4 program of the European Fisheries Fund. Stakeholders (FLAGs, Managing Authorities, project promoters) may use it as a source of inspiration for future projects; but it will also interest wider audiences, such as researchers, NGOs and/or the media wanting to know more on local development of European fisheries areas.
Find out more with the 42 project posters showcased during the Sailing Towards 2020 conference.
This guide has been developed to help FLAGs that would like to strengthen the tourism activities in their areas, while also ensuring that benefits accrue to the local fisheries community. In particular, it provides guidance on three areas that FLAGs will need to think about if deciding to suppport tourism in fisheries areas: how to include fisheries-related tourism in the FLAG strategy, how to develop and support quality tourism project ideas, and how to promote fisheries areas and their specific tourism offer. The guidance is richly illustrated with tables and graphs, and there are also 15 examples from FLAG practice.
The European Commission’s Directorate General “Enterprise and Industry” has just published a guide on EU funding for the tourism sector. The guide contains a short description of all the major EU Funds from which activities related to tourism can be funded, as well as some project examples that can serve as inspiration. Information about funding for fisheries areas under EMFF is included, with some project examples from FARNET. This guide may be particularly useful for FLAGs in areas where tourism is being developed. Those FLAGs might be able to advise their tourism actors on the different funding sources available to them. It is also worth visiting the website of DG Enterprise and Industry to see calls for transnational cooperation projects related to tourism. FLAGs might be in a good position to stimulate such cooperation through their network of transnational contacts.
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.