LabMAF – a Med project

Developing a Labelling Scheme for Mediterranean

Small-scale and Artisanal Fish Products (LabMAF)

28th of January 2019

Jerneja Penca


Small-scale and artisanal fisheries in the Mediterranean represent an important element of coastal communities engaging in low-impact fishing activities, providing local supplies of fresh fish on a daily basis, and forming an integral part of the cultural heritage. They are naturally highly adaptable, which is crucial in mitigating impacts of ecological and economic changes. However, their multifaceted contribution to the healthy, productive and resilient Mediterranean Sea remains insufficiently recognized both by policy makers and consumers. They face market competition from large-scale fishery products, foreign imports, and aquaculture products. Too little distinction is made between products of various provenience, quality, fishing gear and socioeconomic impact on producers, including their jobs and well-being.


Tools for a greater push of the market in the direction of awarding good practices are needed, ideally in the transnational context. This project seeks to contribute to a more aware, sustainable, and sophisticated seafood market that valorizes the role of small-scale fisheries in countries across the Mediterranean. The project will develop a feasibility study of a labelling or another market scheme, awarding recognition for products by small-scale fishers that adhere to and implement sound region-specific ecological and socioeconomic principles.


The consortium is composed of seven individuals from research, non-governmental and fishers organisations, as well as a consultancy, and covers areas of fishery and marine science, legal and governance aspects, and social, cultural, and economic factors in selected BlueMed member countries and Lebanon. The consortium and a number of experts relevant to the action will meet three times in the period between January 2019 and March 2020 to address the goal.


Consortium members

  • Jerneja Penca, Euro-Mediterranean University, Slovenia (Main Coordinator)
  • Alicia Said, Malta Centre for Arts, Science and Technology Malta / Institut français de recherche pour l’exploitation de la mer, IFREMER, France (Co-lead)
  • Simone Libralato, National institute of oceanography and applied geophysics (OGS), Italy
  • Cristina Pita, Centre for Environmental al and Marine Studies, University of Aveiro, Portugal
  • Manal Nader, Institute of Environment, Balamand University, Lebanon
  • Bertrand Cazalet, Marepolis, Conseil en politiques de la mer, France
  • Marta Cavallé, Low-Impact Fishers of Europe (LIFE), Spain/Belgium

Supported under the BLUEMED Call for Start-up Actions 2018: