Fisheries Areas Network

Country Factsheet

France - 23 FLAGs - 40.8 M€

The main challenges that CLLD will address in France’s fisheries areas in the coming years include a relatively poor integration of fishing communities into general territorial development, and difficulties to attract labour to the profession, resulting in the aging of the workforce. The 23 French FLAGs are seen as a tool to help the sector become more attractive, and to create economic opportunities through better investment conditions, better synergies among fisheries and aquaculture activities, increased added-value of fisheries and aquaculture products, and new ways of doing business. 

CLLD Programme

CLLD Context: 

Given that most inland fisheries areas are eligible for LEADER funding in France, EMFF CLLD focuses on coastal areas and, with the exception of the Pays de la Loire, all coastal regions in Metropolitan France are implementing CLLD. Two of its overseas territories, Guadeloupe and Saint Martin are also implementing CLLD.

The fisheries industry in France is an important sector both for the economy and for regional development, accounting for some 28 902 jobs (17 731 FTEs) in 2013. The fishing activity is relatively well-distributed along coastline with 42% of French fishing vessels operating in the Atlantic, 37% in overseas territories and 21% in the Mediterranean, although there are some regional concentrations, for example in Brittany which accounts for a quarter of the volume of French fisheries production. Shellfish farming is also an important component of France’s fisheries sector, in particular in Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes, Normandy and Brittany.  While employment in fishing decreased by 21% (from 9 058 to 7 150 FTEs) from 2009 to 2013, employment in aquaculture grew to 10 581 FTEs.

Contact details of the managing authority can be found here.

More information about national EMFF programmes can be found here.


Axis 4 achievements (2007-2013): 

In the previous programming period, France had a total of 11 FLAGs. They were relatively evenly distributed along the whole French coastline, covering areas both in the North and the South, and Atlantic, Mediterranean and the Channel. All areas included protected or environmentally managed areas (9 of which Marine Natura 2000 sites) and offered significant environmental and cultural resources that could be mobilized for territorial development based on coastal and marine activities.

The main achievements of Axis 4 were as follows[1]:

  • FLAGs fostered collaboration between the fisheries sector and the shellfish sector;
  • FLAGs were able to involve new actors and to strengthen cooperation between fisheries professionals and other local players (local authorities, tourism stakeholders, research, environmental protection...);
  • FLAGs developed various communication channels to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and expertise among different local stakeholders.

[1] Evaluation de l’axe 4 du Fonds Européen pour la Pêche, Synthèse, Février 2013


CLLD objectives and challenges for 2014-2020: 

The main challenges that Community-Led Local Development will have to address in France’s fisheries areas in the coming years are related to structural issues that have been observed over the past two decades, in particular:

  • A relatively poor integration of fishing communities into general territorial development, especially in the face of increasing residential activities and seasonal tourism along the French coast
  • Difficulties to attract labour to the profession and the resulting aging work force, due to recruitment requirements and a declining image of fisheries and aquaculture as a career choice[1]

As a consequence, FLAGs are seen as a tool to help the sector become more attractive and to create economic opportunities through better investment conditions, better synergies among fisheries and aquaculture activities, increased added-value of fisheries and aquaculture products and new ways of doing business. The following objectives, in particular, have been laid out for CLLD in the French EMFF Operational Programme:

  • Reinforcing the position of fisheries and aquaculture within the development of coastal territories and strengthening the FLAG network
  • Maintaining and creating new jobs within fisheries, in particular by:
    • Improving the image of the sector
    • Increasing added value to fisheries through innovative projects
    • Supporting diversification of sources of income within fisheries

France dedicates 5% of its EMFF fisheries budget to CLLD, up from just 2.6% of the EFF in the 2007-2013 period. FLAGs will benefit from increased budgets (on average €1.8M per FLAG for the current programming period, compared to €1M in the previous period).  

Multi-fund CLLD in France

Calls for Local Action Groups funded by the different European Structural and Investment funds were organized separately in France. However, coordination between CLLD groups from different funds is encouraged; for example, EMFF and EAFRD can fund CLLD strategies in the same territory as long as the strategies have been developed in complementarity. In practice there are a number of FLAGs which are managed by an organization (usually a Pays) that also manages a LEADER LAG.

CLLD Budget

Total budget: 
€40 860 706
  • EMFF budget for CLLD: 
    €20 430 353
  • Co-funding: 
    €20 430 353
  • Proportion of CLLD in EMFF budget: 
Number of FLAGs: 
Average budget per FLAG: 
€1 776 552

National Network

France launched its National Network in June 2018, hiring one full-time person to run networking and other support activities for the FLAGs. These include the collection and dissemination of information on the FLAGs and local projects selected; facilitating the exchange of good practice; the organization of annual conferences and thematic meetings; and the promotion of CLLD through a newsletter and contact with industry players and the relevant media. It has a budget of €420 000. The NN’s website is https://www.dlalfeamp.fr/.

Click here for the National Network contact details.

The FLAGs and their areas

Twenty-three FLAGs have had their local development strategies approved in seven different regions: Hauts de France (2), Normandy (2), Brittany (8), Nouvelle Aquitaine (4), Occitanie (4), Provence-Alps-Côte-d’Azure (2) and Corsica (1). This ensures a fairly good coverage of the French coastline, including the Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the Channel. 


For the EMFF funding period, 80 cooperation projects were reported by the managing authority. These ranged from cooperation projects among neighbouring FLAGs, such as one to promote line-caught fish in Brittany, to projects with international partners as far afield as Australia (around the management of red-lobster stocks) and Japan (around the ikejime technique). 

For information on how cooperation was programmed and organised in France, click here.


Code Name Region Surface area (km²) Population Population density (per km²) Employment in fisheries*
FR201 Opale Coast FLAG
115 76518 667 3000
FR202 Three Estuaries FLAG
421 65382 155 440
FR203 Fécamp FLAG 215 40000 186 290
FR204 West Normandy FLAG
1650 369811 224 3500
FR205 Côte d’Emeraude – Rance – Baie du Mont Saint-Michel FLAG
1611 230819 143 1242
FR206 Saint-Brieuc FLAG
1165 200000 170 833
FR207 Trégor & Guingamp FLAG
2150 206924 95 550
FR208 Morlaix FLAG
1331 129350 97 617
FR209 Brest FLAG
1678 390977 223 739
FR210 Cornouaille FLAG
2484 350000 140 4900
FR211 Lorient FLAG
FR212 Auray & Vannes FLAG
2190 304752 139 1448
FR213 La Rochelle FLAG
409 183976 450 917
FR214 Marennes Oléron FLAG
590 65165 110 4400
FR215 Arcachon FLAG
1494 146601 98 6100
FR216 Basque Coast FLAG
1568 317576 202 270
FR217 Mediterranean Pyrenees FLAG
250 68118 268 50
FR218 Aude FLAG
1102 149923 136 125
FR219 Thau FLAG
470 150635 320 2500
FR220 Camargue FLAG
816 140000 172 375
FR221 Calanques Islands FLAG
Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
610 253170 415 544
FR222 Esterel Côte d’Azur FLAG
Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
442 267627 605 75
FR223 Corsica FLAG
3695 241525 99 425
(*)according to the information received from the FLAG

Contact details

Organisation Contacts

[MA Nat FR] DPMA - Direction des Pêches Maritimes et de l'Aquaculture
+33 (0)1 40 81 94 24


Publication date: 
PDF Version