Fisheries Areas Network

FLAG Factsheet

La Rochelle FLAG

Official name: 
GALPA La Rochelle - Ile de Ré - Charron
Programming period: 


The FLAG area is situated on the Atlantic coast and has a strong maritime history and attractive environment. With cities such as La Rochelle and the island of Ré, the area is a stronghold for marine tourism, blue growth and maritime economy. The area is composed of three very differentiated territories facing specific challenges, but sharing a strong maritime identity where sailing, fishing and aquaculture activities interact.

The urban area of La Rochelle, a city of over 30 000 inhabitants, provides landing and auction facilities for over 80 local and 90 external boats on the fishing harbour Chef de Baie. La Rochelle also has a vibrant sailing industry with the largest marina for pleasure boats in Europe at Les Minimes, and an important boat-building industry.

The small town of Charron, in the north of La Rochelle, is home to around 40 mussels producers who use a traditional technique and promote a well differentiated product linked with a very specific the mode of production (Moules la Charron label).

Opposite La Rochelle, the Ile de Ré has oyster-growers and more recently urchin-farmers. Oyster farming is mainly developed on the north coast where the ports of the island (Rivedoux-Plage, La Flotte-en-Ré, Saint-Martin-de-Ré and Loix) are located but also on the south coast of Ars -en-Ré. Over 60 oyster farmers, mostly family businesses, cover approximately 540 ha at sea.

The specific challenges the FLAG aims to address are:

  • Better structuring the fishing and aquaculture sectors;
  • Improving employment opportunities and helping fishing communities have more regular income;
  • Improving the image of fishing communities and activities;
  • Helping fishing communities to play a more proactive role in the protection of the environment and sustainable development.
Type of area:
Sea Basins:
Protected areas: 

Charron’s coastline is part of the natural reserve of the Aiguillon Bay. This area covers mudflats and salt marshes where biodiversity is being preserved. The reserve provides a strong balance between the preservation of marine species and traditional fishing and aquaculture activities.

183 976
Surface area (km²)
Population density
Total employment in fisheries

FLAG strategy

The FLAG aims to work with small-scale fishermen and aquaculture growers with a priority on young people: who it will help to initiate and develop their fishing or aquaculture activity.

The FLAG strategy is divided into four main priorities:

  • Priority 1: Increase added value for the territory and its products (economic development)
  • Priority 2: Promote environmental excellence (sustainable development)
  • Priority 3: Give meaning and interact (social and skills development)
  • Priority 4: Facilitate cooperation and networks (cooperation)

Within these four priorities, specific goals have been set, these aim to

  • For Priority 1: creating synergies between fishing and aquaculture activities, diversifying activities;
  • For Priority 2: improving water quality and managing pollution, improving the protection of the coastal environment and the inclusion of renewable marine energies;
  • For Priority 3: delivering efficient training, promotion and communication actions;
  • For Priority 4: active exchange of good practices and promotion of local initiatives at regional, national or European level.
Adding value, creating jobs, and promoting innovation along the fisheries chain
% of the budget allocated: 
Supporting diversification
Enhancing and capitalising on the environmental assets
Promoting social wellbeing and cultural heritage
Strengthening the role of fisheries communities in local development


Total public budget allocated to the FLAG for 2014-2020: 
120 000
  • EMFF: 
    60 000
  • MS co-financing: 
    60 000
  • Sources of co-funding: 

    National, regional and local

Project examples

  • Set-up of a freezer room for professional use in order to facilitate the purchase of seasonal mass products
  • Creation of by-products from white fish processing by wholesalers, unmarketable small mussels and slipper shells. The project will include feasibility studies, marketing and communication actions towards fishing and aquaculture communities.
  • Opening of a public info point at the Harbour of Chef de Baie to promote the sea sector (fishing, mussel farming, wholesaling, fish market, teaching…)
  • Development of a multilingual smartphone application to promote the diversification of oyster tasting
  • Creation of a navigating and communication lab to collect data and provide training on environmental matters
  • Creation of an observatory to organise and coordinate depollution measures and maintain the coast in good environmental status
  • Organisation of a cycle of conferences on maritime economy that will contribute to regional and national reflections on blue growth.  

Calls for proposals

Projects can be submitted on an ongoing basis. The selection committee meets at least twice a year.

The FLAG coordinator will help project promoters to prepare their proposal for an initial presentation.

If the initial presentation receives a positive answer, the project leader will submit application for an EMMF grant. The selection committee will approve eligible projects which respond to the FLAG’s strategy, in accordance with the Region’s priorities and regulations. 

Expertise & cooperation

The FLAG has experience in public governance, maritime matters and structuring facilities and is interested in exchanging on issues of FLAG management (coordination, communication etc.) through inter-territorial and transnational study visits.

Budget envisaged for cooperation: 


Members of the partnership: 

The FLAG is implemented by three legal entities. The lead partner is the Communauté d’Agglomération de La Rochelle (urban community). Its partners are: the inter-municipal body of l’Ile de Ré (communité de communues) and the municipality of Charron.

The FLAG partnership includes the port authorities of La Rochelle, the Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber of Agriculture, the Regional Committees of Sea Fishing and Fish Farming activities and of Shellfish Farming activities, fish producers and unions, technical schools and training organisations, a research centre and the local University.

Number of individuals/organisations in partnership/general assembly: 
% of fisheries actors: 
% of other (non-fisheries) private / NGO sector actors: 
% of environmental actors: 
Number of individuals on main decision-making body/board: 
% of public actors: 
Number of contracted staff in FLAG: 



FLAG Contacts

Communauté d’Agglomération de La Rochelle
Hôtel de la Communauté d'Agglomération BP 1287
6 rue Saint-Michel
17000 La Rochelle Cedex 02
FLAG Manager:
Ms. Marie Laure Isler
05 46 30 35 10
FLAG President:
Mr. Jean-François Fountaine
Publication date: 
PDF Version