The TourFish conference ran in June 2014. The purpose of the conference was to showcase the work of the TourFish partnership and explore how Responsible Tourism could be used as an approach to further sustainable development in agri-food and fisheries.

Stakeholders from across France, Belgium and the Netherlands attended the event and participated in a rich networking opportunity to share ideas and practical experiences. An outline of the conference is presented below alongside links to presentations and videos where available.

Further videos can be found on the TourFish YouTube channel

Saturday 21st June 2014

Hastings Mid-Summer Fish Fest

Sunday 22nd June 2014

Monday 23rd June 2014 - Conference Day One

10:00 - 13:00

Registration - St Mary in the Castle

You can register at any point from 10am. You will be able to collect your delegate pack and our greeters will answer any questions you may have and guide you to the local tourist attractions and restaurants that you can enjoy during your stay in Hastings. Once you have registered you will then be able to participate in the morning's programme of additional activities.

Activities on the Stade - Stade Hall

This programme of additional activities is designed to set the scene for a number of the conference sessions including themes around industry-led education, regional branding and fisheries-led regeneration.


Conference Opening Session - St. Mary in the Castle 

Welcome to Hastings by Hastings Borough Council 


Introduction to TourFish - Tim Acott, University of Greenwich


The GIFS Project - Julie Urquhart, University of Greenwich


The Fish & Chips Project - Brigitte Smessaert, Flanders House of Food 


Keynote Speech: Responsible Tourism, Sense of Place and Local Economic Development

Dr Harold Goodwin, International Centre for Responsible Tourism and Manchester Metropolitan University




Boosting your regional identity: Discover how regional branding can stimulate regional development, entrepreneurship and innovation - led by Vlaams Huis de Voeding (Flanders House of Food)

Can the identity of a region be used as a starting point to brand a region and differentiate it from others? In the branding process, the region as a whole becomes a product or brand and offers a broad range of outstanding regional products and services. Regional branding allows the creations of a more distinctive image and/or reputation. It helps to increase the regional competitiveness which can incorporate for instance opportunities for new touristic activities or products.

During this thematic session, the workshop leader and the participants will discuss the benefits, opportunities and challenges of regional branding as a mobilising force for sustainable regional development, through best practices and testimonials of the Fish and Chips project.

This session is particularly valuable for

  • Social and economic policy practitioners and administrators
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Regional developers
  • Representatives of employers associations
  • Tourism and marketing professionals
  • Fishers, farmers and agri-food producers and representatives of their associations 
  • Knowledge and research centres NGOs and civil society groups 



The Taste of Place: A curious journey to the province of Zeeland in the Netherlands - led by the Municipality of Middelburg with Dr Gerard van Keken

Gerard van Keken takes the audience on an educational trip through the notions of identity, image culture, heritage, and place branding. The journey also touches on how this can be applied in a sustainable way and connected with food, fisheries and agriculture. Our curious journey will take us to global and local destinations in order to make clear what the importance of place is and what the developments are in the world of taste. The journey ends in the province of Zeeland (the Netherlands) where fisheries and agriculture have been dominant for ages. Their past are still visible in the region's culture and heritage. Sea and land created Zeeland and its food but today fisheries and agriculture in Zeeland faces significant challenges: how to survive in a globalised world? What makes the region and it's food distinctive, tasteful and sustainable? What are responsible tourism strategies that benefit both visitors and residents? What gives communities opportunities to earn (extra) income and make their places liveable so that they become better places to live in and to visit?

Finale: Arnemuiden catwalk

This session is particularly valuable for:

  • Everyone that wants to learn about the notions of identity, image, culture, heritage, place making and place branding.
  • Policymakers, tourism marketing professionals and historians to get inspiration for making strategies and action plans which have the community as a starting point and bring forth ideas for responsible tourism. 
  • Fishers, farmers and foodies who are interested in the world of taste, regional products, sustainable food and culinary heritage tourism to inspire their own future products.
  • Everyone who has knowledge of the world, the North Sea and tourism and enjoys a quiz on fish, food and tourism!         


Networking Reception, Stade Hall

Enjoy a private viewing of the TourFish photography exhibition during this early-evening reception.

Tuesday - Conference Day Two - St Mary in the Castle

08:00 - 09:30

Registration - (For those delegates that are attending Day Two only) 


Introduction to Day Two 


Fish, Food and Festivals: Responsible tourism and fishing-led community regeneration - led by  Sidmouth Trawlers, Hastings Fishermen's Protection Society and University of Brighton

Join us as we share lessons learnt about the hard won successes of two very different fishing communities using their heritage and contemporary fishing fleet identity to act as a catalyst for community led regeneration. Common to both of these remarkable stories is the use of the cultural traditions tied into their landscape and livelihoods by the fishers and the communities around them to forge a unique responsible tourism offer around fish, food and festivals.

Learn about their different routes to industry empowerment and activism and the creative ways in which their stories, knowledge and skills are being re-connected and so re-valued by a new generation of visitors and residents. We want to showcase to you how through adopting approaches proudly grounded in the fishing community the link between an emerging responsible tourism market and community led regeneration can help to protect the livelihoods, unique place based identity, social cohesion, sense of purpose and traditions of our coastal communities.

The session will involve an introduction to each case study by a panel of community stakeholders and will be followed by what we know will be a lively and insightful Q&A session where we will invite you to be part of the audience wide discussion around how these models might apply to your industry and contribute to your community.

This session is particularly valuable for:

  • Fishers, farmers and agri-food producers to learn about how responsible tourism can be part of your community strategy to secure your livelihood.
  • Tourism and marketing professionals will learn about how they might work with community led regeneration projects to develop the emerging responsible tourism market and so achieve sustainable economic renewal.
  • NGOs and civil society groups will have valuable experience of achieving societal change through bottom up local community models that share many of the principles of this approach to community led regeneration and responsible tourism, thus creating the opportunity for mutual exchange of lessons learnt.
  • Social and economic policy practitioners can see first hand how fisheries inspired responsible tourism can be a catalyst for social and economic regeneration. 

Morning Break 


Education, fish and food: Raising awareness of food, sustainability and responsible tourism - led by University of Brighton, Hastings Fishermen's Protection Society, Flanders House of Food and Nausicaa

Experience first-hand innovative models of fisher/farmer/agri-food industry led alternative education provision with examples from England, Belgium and France. These models of education can deliver valuable learner experiences underpinned by the sharing of fisher/farmer/industry knowledge and their participation in enabling an understanding of sustainable food industry practices and values. They highlight a commitment to demonstrating how fishing and farming contribute to the unique identity of where you live and visit and trigger questions about how learners can be part of building a more sustainable future:

  • through their informed consumer and business choices around locally sourced seasonal food
  • through sharing the knowledge they acquire in these lessons on sustainable foods
  • through seeking to gain employment in the industry 

The session will involve an introduction to these models and why they were developed. You will experience this exciting alternative education provision, and learn about the crucial role this type of education can play in securing a viable economic future for sustainable fishing and agri-foods. Finally, we will invite you to be part of the audience wide discussion around how these models might apply to your industry and contribute to your locality.

This session is particularly valuable for:

  • Fishers, farmers and agri-food producers to learn about how alternative education provision can help support their future livelihood.
  • Education practitioners will have much to contribute to this debate as they reflect upon how this model engages students in a meaningful way around the themes of sustainability and how this can be part of the resources available for area-based curriculum.
  • Tourism and marketing practitioners will learn how these models can contribute to the emerging knowledge based responsible tourism market and how education feeds into associated regional branding.  
  • NGOs and civil society groups will have valuable experience of achieving societal change through bottom up local community models that share many of the principles of this education provision, thus creating the opportunity for mutual exchange of lessons learnt. 
  • Social policy practitioners can see first hand how alternative education provision is a catalyst for sustainability in relation to the food chain, with ideas shared around: food security, ecosystem conservation, intra-inter generational cultural exchange and economic renewal. 

Lunch Break 


Keynote Speech: Sustainable Food - Making the Connection from Spade to Spoon

Clare Devereux, Policy Director of Food Matters


From Catch to Plate & Plough to Plate: Sustainable seafood and local land products for today and tomorrow - led by Nausicaa and Taste South East 

Today, 77% of fish stocks are fully exploited, overexploited or exhausted. The growing demand for fish, linked both to increases in world population and an ever growing interest by consumers in the nutritional and dietetic qualities of fish, places considerable pressure on this resource. But how can we make a difference?

Associations, aquariums and institutes are working to increasingly raise the awareness of their consumers and to encourage them, through concrete daily actions, to become responsible consumers of seafood products, at home and away.

The mobilising of economic players, from fishermen to distributors, has become essential. However, this can only become effective and sustainable if consumers themselves also become active players through their unique and determining purchasing power, at the end of the supply chain, via selective and educated consumerism.

In this final session you can learn more about two exciting and successful "Catch to Plate" initiatives in the Interreg 2 Seas zone, as well as other responsible tourism initiatives featuring local food and seafood. We will also be joined by a restaurant chef who will tell us about the barriers to and opportunities of sourcing local food. 

  • Local Catch: A web-based information hub to educate consumers and chefs about local species, where to find local fishermen, fishmongers and wholesalers who catch and sell locally caught seafood. The platform also gives information about seasonality, minimum size of the fish and its rating on the UK's sustainable fish list. It shows consumers and chefs how to cook and prepare local species and provides recipe ideas. This is a growing network developed by the industry. Find out how we use Local Catch to the benefit of the industry, encourage responsible tourism, and develop new supply chains as well as our plans for the future.
  • Mr.Goodfish which is a programme initiated by the World Ocean Network and developed by Nausicaa in France. Its aim is to inform and educate general public, and tourists about sustainable seafood consumption by enabling them to choose responsibly thereby preserving the sea's resources for the future generations. Positive recommendations are published quarterly, in the form of a list, made available on the internet and communicated to all contributing members, including fishmongers and restauranteurs.

How can you get involved? With this session, you will learn how to make more responsible choices and find key advice to choose and promote sustainable seafood for today and tomorrow. Testimonies of chefs using and selling locally produced food and locally caught seafood, will show you what is possible to do in the real life to be a more sustainable business.         

The strategic target of this session comprises of all the component parts of the sector:

  • Fishermen, farmers and local producers
  • Wholesalers, processors, restaurant-owners and distributor
  • NGOs and other associations
  • Teachers 
  • Politicians
  • Public authorities
  • The media
  • Consumers and potential consumers of produce from the sea and land

Concluding Session 


End of Conference