Even though fishing no longer plays the role it once did, it still represents a major activity for L'île d'Yeu. Recently, agriculture has experiencing a revival with the arrival of new producers and ongoing projects, supported by the island's Agricultural Collective.
FISHING, A TRADITIONAL ECONOMY
The fishery employs about one hundred and fifty fishermen. The workforce has halved in the last ten years. The EU ban on driftnets, the EU prohibition of fishing for porbeagle sharks, the failure of the EU mandated conversion to bluefin tuna and a large number of non-renewed retirements explain this steep drop.
The fishing sector is not completely moribund. It remains dynamic and strongly marks the island's identity. The fishermen of L'île d’Yeu catch the most noble species, with high added value, using selective fishing techniques and economies of energy (lines, lockers, nets).
The main species caught are sole, burbot, bass, hake and albacore tuna.
Albacore tuna fishing is now by hook rather than by nets.
In a difficult political context, fishing on L'île d'Yeu nonetheless has all the assets necessary to allow it to last. For example, white tuna fishing, a historic catch of the island, is now by hook rather than by nets.
Also called "albacore", this fish can be bought directly from the fishermen at the port. Prepared raw or grilled, this king of the seas amazes everyone who first tastes it for the succulence of its meat.
Contacts for the maritime life of the island
- Local Committee of Fisheries - Rue de la Tourette -Tel.: +33 (0)2 51 58 51 88
- School of Fisheries - 49, rue des Bossilles - Tel.: +33 (0)2 51 58 76 23 - www.ecoledespechesyeu.com
- Maritime Affairs - Quai de la Mairie - Tel.: +33 (0)2 51 59 42 60
Event: The big fish feast and festival, every year in October.
AGRICULTURE, AN ECONOMY IN RENEWAL
Until the end of the 19th century, L'île d’Yeu was primarily agricultural. The abandonment of farming at one point was such that 80% of cultivated areas became abandoned or were built on.
Covering 1100 hectares of the 2300 that make up the island, farming covered about 48% of the territory in 1951, but less than 4.5% sixty years later.
In 2019, there were four market gardeners, a sheep farm, dairy farm, one professional beekeeper and several amateur beekeepers.
The residual amily farming mainly sold in the fast-to-market way, often organically. You'll find producers in the markets of Port-Joinville and Saint-Sauveur, from Easter to the end of October, and you can buy directly from the farm.
In recent years, a revival of agriculture has been taking place and new farmers are arriving, seeking to settle down. At the moment, land is at a premium. A project for the development of market gardening, fruit trees and livestock farming activities, called "Terre Fert'Ile" - is currently being supported by the Committee for the Development of Agriculture (CDA).