The metropolitan fishery

France has over 5500 km of coastline. With about 60 fishery harbors, 39 fish auction halls, 14 producer organizations (OP), 306 fish trade and sea product transformation companies, the fishery industry – from the vessel to the final customer – is an important sector both economically and in terms of development of the territory.

In 2014, the metropolitan fleet counted 4 537 vessels. It is the fifth fleet of the European Union. Mostly composed of vessels smaller than 12 meters, the French Fishery is defined by its diversity in terms of production means, professions, fishery areas and markets.

Four types of fisheries are used in France: « the long distance fishery » which concerns the greater vessels whose journeys last over 20 days, « the offshore fishery » which concerns vessels whose journeys last between 4 and 20 days, « the coastal fishery » which applies for journeys between 1 and 4 days and « the short distance fishery » for journeys below 24 hours.

The richness of the French fishery lies in its diversity: from the 8m bass troller in the Raz de Sein to the 85 meters freezer tuna seiner in the Indian Ocean.

This wide range of jobs corresponds to the diversity of the fishery areas which goes from the French coastline to the Indian Ocean including for example Scotland, Ireland, Greenland, Spain, the gulf of Guinea or even Antarctic.

The most remote areas are exploited by the « the great fishery » (tuna, Patagonian toothfish, freezer fishing trawler). The French tropical tuna seiner fleet counts 17 units which catch over 100 000 tons of tuna (bigeye, yellowfin and skipjack).

Mis à jour le 24 February 2015