August 2019

Polish-Finnish cooperation promotes more intelligent fishing techniques

Eight fishermen from Poland have visited a remote Finnish village to learn about alternative fishing techniques using special fishing gear. In July, the Polish group travelled to Lokka in northern Finland, situated on a reservoir of the same name.  There they spent five days being trained by their Finnish counterparts. The initiative is part of “FIN – Fishing Intelligently”, a transnational cooperation project implemented by FLAGs from both countries – Zegrze Lagoon FLAG (PL), Masurian Sea FLAG (PL) and Lapland FLAG (FI).
Using the specially-designed box-capture gear is seen as more intelligent than gillnet fishing. In typical net fishing, fish become entangled in the net and often die or get injured, whereas in the intelligent Finnish gear, the fish are gathered in a fish-box, in which they can swim freely. This means that fish that are undersized or protected by legislation can be released uninjured. Also, the quality of the fish remains good, which is crucial for a commercial fisherman.
Another benefit of this box-capture method is that it can be used to rehabilitate water ecosystems by removing small plankton feeders or other detrimental fish at the same time as taking commercial catches. This has a positive effect on the water conditions and the quality of the catch, and therefore contributes to the overall performance of the fisheries sector and the development of the fisheries area.
The Polish fishermen will pass on the knowledge gained from this exchange onto other fishermen in Poland. The project also promises to be the start of an ongoing relationship, after the Finnish fishermen requested a trip to Poland for the opportunity to find out about their Polish colleagues’ work and experiences.

More progress and information on pesca-tourism

Cyprus now has legislation covering pesca-tourism. This provides a legal framework for fishermen to undertake the activity, which can be a valuable way to diversify their work. Rules outlining operational procedures, such as passenger safety requirements, were released in May by the country’s Shipping Authority.
Some Cypriot fishermen have long expressed an interest in learning more about pesca-tourism. To meet that need, Larnaca and Famagusta FLAG (CY) ran a certified training programme for 35 fishermen, that included learning about how to engage in direct sales and pesca-tourism. Participants were able to go on a study trip to Crete and meet with fishermen there that already have experience of operating in pesca-tourism.
Pesca-tourism, also known as “sustainable fishing tourism”, is an increasingly popular activity around the world. Not only is it an alternative income stream for fishermen, pesca-tourism should reduce the intensity of fishing activities, contribute to the sustainable management of fishery resources, and promote the cultural heritage of artisanal fishing. EMFF money is available for developing pesca-tourism and FLAGs are on hand to help develop projects and secure funding. One whole issue of the FARNET magazine is dedicated to fisheries and tourism. This year Spain has also joined those countries, such as Italy, France and Greece, with designated legislation allowing fishermen to undertake pesca-tourism.
The WWF Mediterranean Marine Initiative has recently created some great resources for information on pesca-tourism including a three minute animation explaining the three principles of sustainable fishing tourism; a webpage; and a series of five shorts videos promoting a publication made up of practical case studies and recommendations.

Other news

Managing Authorities and National Networks work to promote "quality" projects

MAs and NNs spent a fruitful two days sharing ideas as they met in Brussels in June. The topic of quality CLLD projects featured heavily, with much discussion on what constitutes “quality”. This was complemented with a variety of presentations from Member States illustrating quality CLLD projects. Time was spent during the meeting on discussing ways to improve delivery systems. The gathering was also an opportunity to strengthen exchange and networking around sea basins. The FARNET webpage on the event is full of information on what took place, including a helpful summary in the Meeting Report.

Marine Protected Areas conference in Rome

The Interreg FishMPABlue2 project is organizing its final conference on 1-2 October in Rome because MPAs are sometimes opposed by local fishermen who see the designated areas as restricting their activities and incomes. The project builds on good working relationships between MPA Managers and fishermen in some MPAs, developing new ways of improving governance through small-scale fisheries co-management within and around MPAs. . The European Union has identified geographically distinct zones for which protection objectives are set. The aim is to safeguard biodiversity and maintain marine ecosystem health and the supply of ecosystem services.

Lights, camera, action! Behind the scenes of the CLLD video

Ahead of a large-scale conference on Community Led Local Development (CLLD) in Brussels this December, the FARNET Support Unit is making a video to showcase the policy in action. We will be telling stories of individuals whose lives have been improved through projects funded by their Local Action Group using the different European Structural and Investment Funds. This includes the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). Filming has begun and will take place in four European countries. In case you are not following us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you can get a preview on our photo stream. We’ll bring you more information about the conference and video later this year.


9-20 September
Ghent, Belgium

UGent Blue Growth Summerschool

12-13 September
Brussels, Belgium

FARNET Geographical Experts Meeting

16 September
Azores, Portugal

EMSEA Conference

17-28 September
Izola, Koper, Piran (Slovenian coast)

Mediterranean Coast and Macro-regional Strategies Week 2019 – SEA4FUTURE

7-10 October
Brussels, Belgium

European Week of Regions and Cities

14-16 October
Malaga, Spain


23-24 October
Oslo, Norway

Our Ocean Conference 2019