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Fishing Summit Looks At Ways To Improve Industry

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
27 September 2010, at 1:00am

FRANCE - Every link in the French seafood chain was present for the national seafood summit, the objective of which was to find collective solutions to the many problems that afflict the seafood sector.

The opening speech was made by the French Minister for Agriculture Bruno Le Maire. Among his many points were: the French fishing industry represents over one billion Euros and 16,000 fishermen. For each fisherman at sea there are three to four jobs created on land. The legislative project to modernise Agriculture and fisheries aims at strengthening and structuring the sector which suffers from fragmentation and lack of visibility.

The main proposal to emerge was the creation of an inter-professional association to represent all French seafood and deliver collective solutions, such as a French seafood label to raise awareness of French fish. France imports 85 per cent of its seafood needs compared to 65 per cent across Europe, which results in price competition and a lack of consumer awareness.

Some of the main solutions highlighted for the French seafood sector included:

  1. To work on fairer global exchanges taking into consideration the equivalence of social and environmental standards for seafood imported into Europe.

  2. The need to modernise the fishing fleet with vessels that consume less fuel.

  3. A more efficient organisation of product offer through interconnected auctions, production forecasts, establishment of sales contracts where appropriate and greater use of producer organisations for promotional activities.

  4. The establishment of a European Ecolabel which includes social criteria.

  5. The establishment of a seafood inter-professional association to work on innovation, quality control, surveillance, communication and sales solutions.

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