E-FISHNET PROJECT COMES TO ITS FINAL STRETCH AND PRESENTS ITS RESULTS

  • In Europe more than 55.000 people work as fishmongers but in general we can conclude that there is no specific training offer for this sector.
  • This situation has been identified in several countries. Organizations coming from Iceland, Portugal, United Kingdom, Turkey, Spain and the European Technologic Aquaculture Platform have taken part In this project.
  • Experts from the 5 countries taking part in this Erasmus + Project debated in 5 round tables. Topics covered were the current situation, how to improve training in the fish and shellfish retailer sector, trends and the needs of customers.

The e-FishNet Project Final Seminar took place on 25th June in Mercamadrid Conference Hall. This Project is cofounded by the Erasmus + Program of the European Union and led by FEDEPESCA. This Federation represents more than 7.000 traditional Fish and frozen products Shops. 9 Organizations coming from 6 different countries have taken part in the Project. These organizations are; from England, Bilingsgate Seafood School, from Turkey, Ankara University, Matís from Iceland and ANCIPA from Portugal. Also the European Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Platform took part. From Spain we had FEDEPESCA as Coordinator and Mercamadrid and Madrid Employment Agency and ARIEMA as partners organizations.

This Event consisted of 5 different blocks with different issues and lectures related to fisheries sector training, market and consumption trends amongst other issues.

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The main results of this Project were presented. Intellectual Outputs of this Project are a pioneering research of the training situation in the Fish Retailer Sector and an unprecedented e-learning platform focused on this collective.
After the welcome by the Director of Corporative Development of Mercamadrid, Ms. Lola Román. She said that she was proud that the place chosen to celebrate this event was Mercamadrid, and also to have taken part in this innovative project. The President of FEDEPESCA, Mr. Francisco Abad opened the Multiplier Event jointly with Mr. José Luís González Serrano, Director of Fisheries Planning of the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and Foodstuffs. Mr. Abad highlighted the difficulties of general replacement in Fish Retailer Sector due to the lack of available training and Mr. González expressed the need to find qualified professionals for this sector, in which employees make a big difference.

In the first lecture European consumption trends were analyzed and how European costumers value the fish market. Ms. Mª Luisa Álvarez Blanco, Director of FEDEPESCA and Catherine Pons, Executive Secretary of European Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Platform were the lecturers of this block. Álvarez reminded the audience that fish consumption decreases as the fish retailer format steps back. More than 950.000 people in Spain work in the Wholesaler and Fish Retailer Sector, nevertheless there is no public and specific training.

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The second block focused on the current situation in training for the Fish Retailer Sector in Europe. Mr. Xavier Pires, from the Portuguese association of Foodstuffs traders and Industries presented the main results of the deep research on this issue carried out by the project. Ms. Isabel García Chicote, Director of the Spanish Qualification Institute (INCUAL), Ms. Concepción Díaz de Villegas, General Director of Commerce and Entrepreneurship of Madrid Municipality, Mr. José Manuel Fernández, Coordinator of Commerce Panel of Madrid Business Forum and Ms. Sofía Gómez from FEDEPESCA’s training Department took part as lecturers. Main conclusions of this block were amongst others that the sector is interested in training and learning as positive results have been obtained from training activities in general. However economic challenges limit the availability of this training and public bodies should speed processes and coordination.

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Hereafter, Ms. Silvia Gil, from FEDEPESCA presented the results of the survey addressed to consumers which had been carried out in 7 countries. During this block the needs of fish and shellfish consumers was debated. Ms. Carol Jackson from Billingsgate Seafood School, Ms. Gemma Trigueros from the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU), Ms. Milagros Hernández who runs a traditional Fish Shop with her husband and Mr. Youssef Meski from Balfegó debated how to address these needs and how training should be guided in order to give fishmongers the ability to adapt to new needs and demands. Improving the buying experience at the fishmonger’s was also a bullet point of this block.

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In the third round table, moderated by Mr. Hasan Atar, Professor at Ankara University, 5 fishmongers shared their experiences and their vision of training that should be available to tem in order to progress within their profession. Mr. Ferit Tutkavul from Turkey, Ms. María José González Villaverde from Spain, Mr. Bjarki Magnusson, from Iceland and Mr. George Hooper from England took part as lecturers. In their opinion challenges for the future are Fish Retailer sector training which would help to make this job attractive to new generations.

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Finally we had “Training as the key for the future of the Fish Retailer Sector and its employability” block, moderated by Mr. Arnljótur Bjarki Bergsson, from Matís. He addressed different activities applicable to training and which are necessary to maintain competitiveness of sectors and improve the access to a job. Mr. Arturo González from the Spanish Distance University, Ms. Marina Cárdenas from ARIEMA, Ms. Lola Román from Director of Corporative Development of Mercamadrid, Ms. Alison Freeman from Fishmonger’s Company and Mr. Claudio González from the Madrid Employment Agency gave us examples of different training activities. Conclusions obtained were that in order to be competitive good facilities are a “Must have” and that to attract young people, new tools should be offered.

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Lastly, Ms. Silvia Gil from FEDEPESCA presented the main results and the global conclusions of the e-FishNet Project. Governments and public institutions should offer accessible training for employees within sectors that encourage a high percentage of healthy products consumption.
This event was the perfect finale for e-FishNet Project, focused on fish retailer sector training. One of the goals of the project is to improve available training for this sector. Problem areas detected in training issues in this sector, are also applicable to other sectors, so this may prove to be an inspirational project for them. Also for adult people, horizontal skills are intended to be improved with this project, especially the ones relating to new technologies, devices and communication. People have been encouraged thanks to this Project to use these tools to adapt and make the most of technological advantages.
The closing address was given by Mr. Francisco Abad, who thanked the attendees and the organization for the event, and hoped that solutions given during the Workshop are implemented in a short period of time. Mr. David Chica, General Director of Mercamadrid thanked the organisers for the possibility to close the event and expressed his interest in cooperating in future projects.

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e- FishNet is a project included in the Erasmus + Program and co-funded by the European Union. This Project started in September 2016 and will finish in September 2018, with a total period of 24 months. The consortium is composed by 9 Organizations from Iceland, Turkey, United Kingdom, Portugal and Spain and also we count with one organisation with European scope. FEDEPESCA is the coordinator of this project, which aims to analyze different training schemes in fishmonger’s training in the member countries, create an international collaborative network and also develop an e-learning platform with e-learning content.

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