Newlyn Fish Market - boats due to land.

Thursday, 12 November 2020

Deep Sea - French inshore fishing initiative.



Too often we think that the problems we are dealing with are our problems and unique to us. More often than not if we take the time to look over the fence we see our neighbours are dealing with the same or similar problems. Fishing is no exception. 

Right now French inshore fishermen are dealing with the same issues as UK fishermen, Brexit, factory vessels in the Channel, offshore vessels working inshore, Covid-19 and of course, Brexit. All of which are making their businesses every bit as precarious as those of UK inshore fishermen. On top of this, French fishermen are very wary of the work many NGOs carry out on their behalf championing 'Blue Growth' - a brighter future where protecting fish stocks and the environment are seemingly top of the agenda.



The aim of the Deep Sea Association (Pleine Mer) is to protect the inshore fishermen of France - their raison-d'être is simple - to do what is necessary to ensure there is an industry to hand on to the sons and daughters of existing fishing communities.


Their aims are outlined below:

The Pleine Mer association wishes to contribute to a sustainable transition of fishing in favour of the men and women who practice it, citizens and the environment. Its purpose is the protection of the oceans as well as the support for the development of sustainable management methods and modes in fishing and aquatic farming. It aims to carry out actions in this direction with all possible means of action: awareness raising and training intended for the general public, State representatives in the economic world, advocacy, communication, legal actions, support for associative, private and public. The members of the association are professional fishermen, researchers, engaged citizens, or even fish consumers who identify with the projects carried by the collective.

Our purpose The Pleine Mer association wishes to contribute to a sustainable transition of fishing in favor of the men and women who practice it, citizens and the environment. Its purpose is the protection of the oceans as well as the support for the development of sustainable management methods and modes in fishing and aquatic farming. It aims to carry out actions in this direction with all possible means of action: awareness raising and training intended for the general public, State representatives in the economic world, advocacy, communication, legal actions, support for associative, private and public. The members of the association are professional fishermen, researchers, engaged citizens, or even fish consumers who identify with the projects carried by the collective.

The association develops projects along the following lines:

  • LOCAL FISHING - development and promotion of short circuits and direct sales in French fisheries, production of tools to facilitate the establishment of “community supported fisheries”
  • COASTAL COMMUNITY - participatory action research with coastal communities in order to understand the issues that specifically affect them

Pleine Mer creates links between fishermen and consumers, for a transition to sustainable fishing. Thanks to our constant presence on the coast, we understand the expectations of communities in the context of fishing. We have published a map of inshore fishing suppliers, which has received excellent feedback from fishermen and consumers now directly linked: the development of a mobile application for smartphones would allow this link to be deepened, for local fishing and a living coastline.

Within various projects, the association pursues the following strategic objectives:

Link fishermen and civil society, two worlds which are often ignored and would benefit from working together towards more sustainability 

  • analyze fishing as a complex and contextual system that deserves to be better known to the general public, thanks to a strong presence in the field (on land and at sea) develop sustainable and fair food systems in the fishing industry, via short circuits 
  • enhance the existing and give citizens the means to develop innovative systems take a position on subjects related to fishing: pollution control, coastal preservation, gender issues, adaptation to climate change -> produce in-depth action research work in order to stimulate the dynamics of change.

 

The association is also facilitating inshore fishermen to sell their fish direct to the public as France, like the UK, enters a second Covid-19 lockdown.


Local fishing in Dieppe 

The fishing port has about forty boats, mostly shellfish gillnetters and shellfish trawlers. You want to buy your fish direct from Dieppe fishermen: you have the choice between two traditional direct sales places:

The stalls of the fishing port, Quai Trudaine: this place is very dynamic during the scallop season (in winter): the fishermen work there to sell this delicious shellfish caught by dredge on multi-purpose boats that work trawl the rest of the time. The rest of the time, only two fishermen promote their production on the stalls.

You will find there, for example, the ship L'EQUINOXE of Pierre and Emilie Villeneuve. You can contact them on 0699 406 326 to order.

  • - “Les Barrières”, a place managed by the municipality where the Sté Lorient and the M'alizé sell their produce directly, and in particular delicious whelks. This place is also located on the port, but a little closer to the tourist area, opposite the restaurants. You will find the following boats there:
  • The P'tit Roi boat: direct sale at the stall and at the barriers, Coquilles-Saint Jacques and fish The Sté 'Lorient and M'Alizé boats : direct sale and delivery of whelk, do not hesitate to visit their Facebook page to order The boat l'Nain, which you can find on its Facebook page the Princess of the Seas boat the Unicorn boat

The direct sale of fish in the port of Dieppe has the particularity of being seasonal: it is very dynamic during the summer tourist season and during the shell season in winter. Direct sales have the reputation of being a little less active during the off-season it's up to you to change that, fish have fishing seasons… but we fish all year round: the species are just different!

A small idea of ​​the species that you will find on the fishermen's stalls: sea bass, black bream, red gurnard, monkfish, plaice, turbot, whiting, surmullet, herring, lobster, scallops, sole, dab, pollack, cod, whelk , mackerel, live, conger, crab, squid, cuttlefish and… scallop, which we have already spoken about!

The fishermen of Dieppe told us that they were very interested in the “Local Fishing” project, in particular the new owners who did not yet practice direct sales but wanted to get started as soon as possible. So don't hesitate to go and support them by buying their fish directly!

Visit the Deep Sea website here - use your web browser to translate.


French fishermen are also becoming increasingly concerned over the growth of what has become known as the Blue Economy - reported on Through the Gaps as far back as 2012 and more recently.


Below is another page from the Pleine Mer website oitlining why the fishing industry needs to become more aware of who is in the driving seat of 'Blue Growth' and where it is being driven.

The Blue Fix: What's driving blue growth?

This article explores the politics behind the promise of ‘blue growth’. Reframing it as a ‘blue fix’, we argue that the blue growth discourse facilitates new opportunities for capital accumulation, while claiming that this accumulation is compatible with social and ecological aims as well. The blue fix is made up of three underlying sub-fixes. 

First of all, the conservation fix quenches the social thirst for action in the face of climate change. Here we see how protecting marine areas can be an important part of mitigating climate change, but in practice, gains at the national level are overshadowed by the ongoing expansion of offshore drilling for oil and gas. 

Second, the protein fix satisfies the growing global demand for healthy food and nutrition through the expansion of capital-intensive large-scale aquaculture, while ignoring the negative socio-ecological impacts, which effectively squeeze small-scale capture fishing out, while industrial capture fishing remains well positioned to expand into as well as supply industrial aquaculture with fish feed from pelagic fish. 

And third, an energy fix offers a burst of wind energy and a splash of new deep-sea minerals without disturbing the familiar and persistent foundation of oil and gas. This dimension of the blue fix emphasises the transition to wind and solar energy, but meanwhile the deep sea mining for minerals required by these new technologies launches us into unknown ecological territories with little understood consequences. 

The synergy of these three elements brought together in a reframing of ocean politics manifests as a balancing act to frame blue growth as ‘sustainable’ and in everyone’s interest, which we critically analyse and discuss in this article.