Good Practice Project
Axis 4 financial support helped a fisherman on the Estonian island of Hiiumaa to diversify his activities outside of the fishing season into the production of fishing gear and multi-purpose nets. As well as creating a part-time job for this fisherman, it has also created four full-time jobs for local women.
Given the increasing difficulty of making a living from fishing alone, Imre Kivi, a fisherman on the small island of Hiiumaa, decided to diversify his activities and establish an innovative new business focusing on the production of fishing gear.
During a period of ill health some years ago, Imre spent time working for a fishing gear company, where he got the opportunity to pursue his lifelong interest in designing and producing fishing gear.
Although he later returned to his main activity of artisanal fishing, he always dreamt of continuing this other activity.
With the help of Axis 4 he was able to realise this dream and start his own fishing gear business, thus creating much needed local employment from which female workers with experience in the production of professional and leisure fishing gear can in particular benefit.
Axis 4 co-founded the renovation and equipping of an old shed to create a modern facility, powered with renewable energy. It also covered the acquisition of IT equipment, electronic scales and a delivery vehicle.
Besides a wide range of trap nets, gillnets, trawls, seines, creels, aquaculture equipment and signage flags, the company also produces other net products such as playground climbing nets, football net gates and tow ropes. All products are custom-made and meet the highest technical standards required for fishing gear.
Axis 4 investment has led to the development of a new year-round activity with products sold both on the national market, and in Finland which accounts for approximately 20% of the total production. Four full-time jobs were created for local women on the island and a half-time job for Mr Kivi himself.
With a turnover of €183 512 in 2014, StoneFish sold more than 525 fishing gear products and saw profits of €15 000. The success of the business so far has inspired and encouraged Mr Kivi to consider further exploiting new markets opportunities, including online sales in Finland. This has even prompted him to take Finnish classes.
This project is an example of how a fisherman can successfully develop an innovative business making use of his existing skills to tap into a new activity linked to fishing.
This sort of project could be interesting for fishermen in search of an alternative income outside of the fishing season.
It also shows how important factors such as the motivation and commitment of the project promoter are to the development of a new business activity.
The project was implemented during the 2007-2013 programming period with the support of the FLAG EE04 Hilukala.
|Total project cost||€126 785|
|Timeframe of implementation||From Oct 2011 to Nov 2013|
|Type of area|