Direct selling is commonplace in many fishing communities and creates additional sources of income for fishers while providing consumers with access to fresh, locally landed fish at attractive prices. However, a challenge for fishers has long since been the ability to effectively communicate and promote their catches to potential consumers.
In tackling this challenge, Lisa Djeradi, in 2018, developed MonPêcheur, a mobile phone application which allows fishers to inform consumers of their available products and where and when they will be landing their catches. The project, which increases the visibility of fishers within their local communities, was jointly supported by the Cornouaille and Brest FLAGs, along with the Local Fishing Committee of Finistère.
Thanks to the MonPêcheur platform, consumers can now order local fish online, before collecting and paying for their order at the quayside. Such direct to consumer initiatives have several benefits including supporting local fishers and the local economy, improving traceability and promoting local and seasonal species. For example, through the app, consumer interest in lesser-known local species such as whiting, herring and hake has grown, placing less demand on more widely consumed species such as cod.
In April 2020, MonPêcheur had 6,000 registered users and 23 fishers recording an average of two landings per day. While the platform is currently only used by fishers from Finistère region, registered consumers are from several regions.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer demand on the MonPêcheur app has increased substantially. As fishers have been particularly affected by the crisis, some are now selling up to 100% of their catch through the platform. However, legally, fishers are limited to selling a maximum of 100kg per landing direct to consumers at the quay, and consumers are limited to purchasing a maximum of 30kg per vessel.
This project is extendable to other neighbouring regions and replicable in other coastal areas.
Lessons & contribution to CLLD objectives:
Lessons: Cooperating with local fishing committees and getting the wider sector on board can be a long and drawn out process. It was also essential to communicate the concept of the project to local fishmongers so they understood that direct to consumer sales are complementary to the service they offer and increase the awareness and consumption of local seafood.
Contribution to CLLD objective: (a) Adding value, creating jobs, attracting young people, and promoting innovation at all stages of the supply chain of fishery and aquaculture products.