Fisheries Areas Network

Fiches FLAG

Marennes Oléron FLAG

Official name: 
Pays Marennes Oléron
Programming period: 


The Marennes Oléron FLAG covers a rural and coastal territory whose natural and agricultural landscapes represents 85% of the area (40% of which are marshes). Tourism and primary sector activities are important components of the local economy, along with services and commercial activities.

In terms of maritime activities, inshore fisheries and aquaculture, shellfish harvesting, oyster production and associated production in the saltmarshes all play a strong role within the economic life and history of the area. Marennes Oléron stands out in particular for its oyster farming activities (including spat collection and PGI certified on-growing) with 50% of French production originating from the area. The Cotinière Harbour supports a diversified artisanal fleet and its auction is the 6th French harbour in landing volumes, with an annual turnover of €29 million.  

The fisheries and aquaculture sectors are affected by strong seasonality linked with the attractiveness of the area in the summer. Socio-economic characteristics of the area show a series of unbalanced opportunities (good quality basic services, a dynamic VSME-SME network and strong representation of the primary sector) and pressures, resulting in a series of challenges:

  • The disproportionate weight of the tourist sector in the area’s economy;
  • Increasing pressure and competition on land use and value;
  • Difficulties for the local population to access housing;
  • An ageing population;
  • An increasing rate of secondary-residence;
  • Lack of demand for training and skills acquisition;
  • Low qualified jobs which are highly dependent on seasonality;
  • A high unemployment rate.
Type de zone:
Protected areas: 
  • Marine Natural Park of the Gironde Estuary and the Pertuis Sea
  • Natural Reserve of Moëze Oléron
  • 9 Natura 2000 areas
  • 3 Classified sites: Ile d’Oléron, Ancien Golfe de Saintonge, Estuaire de la Charente et Arsenal de Rochefort.
65 165
Surface area (km²)
Population density
Total employment in fisheries
4 400
4 000

FLAG strategy

The strategy of the Marennes Oléron FLAG will address the following priorities, identified collectively to place fisheries and marine harvests at the heart of the area:

  • Creating the conditions for development and employment: supporting professionals in their development; diversifying companies within the sector; improving employment conditions and skills in the sector.
  • Ambition of an exemplary territory: providing collective responses to improve and sustain good ecological status of the environment; involving different sectors in new territorial dynamics e.g. in waste management and mitigation of coastal challenges (floods, erosion).
  • Promotion of products and their producers, vectors of local added value: improving market opportunities for local producers; increasing local consumption of local seafood to improve sector income in the territory; better valuing and communicating on products, especially among young people.
  • Implementing the strategy and cooperation: community outreach, management and evaluation; supporting co-operation between fishing and shellfish areas; securing the direct involvement of the sector professionals and other stakeholders.
Adding value, creating jobs, and promoting innovation along the fisheries chain
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: 
2 200 000
  • EMFF: 
    1 100 000
  • MS co-financing: 
    1 100 000
  • Sources of co-funding: 

    Largely regional, and possibly national and local

Project examples

  • New training programmes for fishmongers, including those specialized in selling oysters
  • Designing an app to better value shellfish tasting on production sites
  • Geographical analysis of the distribution of local fishing activities
  • Educational project for local schools on the products, history and career opportunities in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors.
  • Reducing waste at source (e.g. identifying processes to reduce and reuse waste from oyster production)

Calls for proposals

Projects will be submitted, reviewed and agreed on an ongoing basis.

Additionally, one or more specific calls for projects may be organized to maximize the use of the budget available and to simplify the search for public funding by project promoters.

Expertise & cooperation

Marennes Oleron FLAG intends to organise cooperation projects to enrich its own strategy implementation, strengthen and extend local dynamics and improve local practices and know-how through exchanges with other territories facing similar issues.

Additional animation on cooperation projects could be foreseen during the programme, with the aim of supporting concrete cooperation projects carried out by the fisheries and aquaculture sectors.

A first cooperative action was initiated around the emergence of the oyster farming sector in the Sine Saloum delta in Senegal, to create links with the French oyster basin Marennes Oléron and share expertise.  

Budget envisaged for cooperation: 


Accountable body: 
Pôle d’Equilibre Territorial Rural du Pays Marennes Oléron
Members of the partnership: 

The selection committee includes:

  • 5 inter-municipal bodies
  • 5 fisheries representatives, including from the Regional Fisheries Committee, the Cotinière harbor, the local Producers' Organization and individual fishermen.
  • 5 shell-fishing representatives, including from the Regional Shellfish Aquaculture Committee, the Producers' Organization and individual shellfish farmers.
  • 11 representatives from the public and private sector representing the themes of the strategy: science, training, disability/inclusion, fisheries suppliers, environment/pedagogy, employment, heritage/tourism

Associated Members (non-voting):

Region, State Services, County Council, Community Services, Water Actors (SAGE, EPTB, Water Agency), AGLIA, Marine Natural Park, Industries, Chamber of Agriculture, University of La Rochelle, LPO natural heritage study department, Tourist offices, Employment Agencies...

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: 



Contacts du GALPA

Pôle d’Equilibre Territorial Rural du Pays Marennes Oléron
22 rue Dubois Meynardie
17320 Marennes
FLAG Manager:
Ms. Gabrielle MOSSOT
FLAG President:
Mr. Mickaël Vallet
  • Français (Mother tongue)
  • Anglais (Basic)
Publication date: 
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