Migrant Skills Transfer in the Aquaculture Industry: The case of Greece and Egypt

Short title

Migrant Skills Transfer in the Aquaculture Industry: The case of Greece and Egypt

Start date - End date

Wed, 09/30/2009 to Wed, 03/30/2011

Brief description of the initiative

This project will facilitate the staffing and development of the Egyptian aquaculture and fisheries industries (ACF) through facilitating knowledge exchange and transfer from Egyptian expatriates working in the industry in Greece.

Results and lessons learned

 Main accomplishments to-date:

•  80% (400/500) of fisheries questionnaires completed and compiled
• 65 AC workers and technicians registered (estimated total = 500)
• 18 community leaders identified (criteria compliance)
• Database filled with 400 entries and statistical analysis of data taken place
• Website developed (www.efig.gr)
• Visit to Damietta
• First info day took place in 23 October 2010 in Kavala
• Port and local authorities informed
• Second info day in Salamina on the 4th of December 2010
• 6 aquaculture companies informed
• A number of 2 migrant fishermen trained in the Hellenic Institute of Fisheries from January 2011 to February 2011
• Another 2 Egyptian fishermen trained in the "Keffalonia Fisheries" industry of aquacultures based in Kefallonia island during the period 15th Kanuary-20 February 2011
• Contacts undertaken and collaboration in progress with the Egyptian Labor Union and the Egyptian Embassy. • Greek Embassy and Consulate informed



Key success or innovative factors

The project, for the first time, makes use of the existing pool of Migrant Egyptian fishermen and their relevant learned society working in a EU country (Greece) and training /building their skills in order to assist the development of Aquaculture and Modern Capture Fisheries skills in their country of origin (Egypt). In addition, both the chosen development fields (Aquaculture & Capture Fisheries) and the associated migrant groups and trades (fishermen) targeted are innovatively, organically and originally interlinked and, both the project subject and the methodology itself, can most probably be replicated in countries like Spain, France, Italy.

Project number



200,000 Euro


JMDI, European Union

Project weblink/URL


Partner country(ies)


Main thematic areas

Skills development and retention

Focus area

Building upon the capacities of highly skilled migrants as well as migrants professional/ entrepreneur associations for development
Avoiding brain waste both for societies in countries of origin and of destination
Balancing the negative impact of brain drain by identifying and attracting the right human capital amongst migrants for development

First name


Last name



Project Manager (ANCE)



Main objectives

The main objective is to facilitate the staffing and development of Egyptian aquaculture industry and open-sea fisheries sector



Main activities

The main activities are to: Create database of min. 500 Egyptian workers and all Egyptian academics/scientists in ACF in Greece and in Egypt; ‘up-skilling' of Egyptian migrant workforce in Greece; develop proposals to encourage the migration of skilled people; inform Egyptian skilled workers in the Greek industry on jobs in Egypt through 6 ‘info days' in Athens and website; support Egyptian return migrants to find jobs with ‘reception office'; run a website on the sector in Egypt; strengthen linkages between the Greek and Egyptian ACF industries with at least 1 workshop in each country.

Main beneficiaries

The main beneficiaries will be return migrants and unskilled/semi-skilled Egyptian migrants working in ACF in Greece.

Project Documents


Dear Community of Practice friends,

as of today night, Sunday the 24th, we are back in Athens form our ID in the Northern Greece City of Kavala following an 8 hrs travel. With careful planning and the assistance of a wonderfull weather, we have managed Saturday morning at 10.30 am to turn our fears and doubts to a success story: 110 people have attended our Info Day: Over 60 representatives of the local Egyptian migrant fishermen community and over fifty citizens of the local community. The Reception Hall of the Imaret hotel was filled and numerous people have addressed and hailed our meeting.

Among others:

on the Greek side the Mayor of the City, The Port Authority, the Coastal Police, the President of the fishing boats federation (employers), the Director of the Institute of Fisheries of Greece, the president of the benevolant Society "Breeth" of Kavala. On the Egyptian side, the Labor Attache of the Egyptian Embassy, the President of Greek moslims society and Ms Dina Hamdi, our Egyptian partner.

All local news papers had announced the meeting a few days before in specail articles dedicated to the scope and objectives of this meeting. Present were the local press, two local TV channels, the National TV channel ET3 from Salonika city and two senior reporters from two major National News papers that shall dedicate extensive coverage to the program, the meeting and its conclusions during the days to come and shall reveal and expose the key problems the Egyptiam fishermen are facing today in Greece and in Kavala in particular.

All of the Greek speakers had to say the best for the commnity of Egyptian fishermen and their exemplary behavior and presence in the city port since 30 years now. This was very encouraging for the fisherment present in the meeting.

At the end of the meeting that has covered extensively answers to their questions on our approach to the training, the analysis and statistical profile of the Egyptian migrant fishermen and the action in their favor taken in Egypt by our project partner EAGA; a film was projected on their life in Greece and an animated one-hour discussion on their problems and suggestions has marked the end of our meeting at 3.30 pm ie after 5 hours of meeting.

By the end of the day, all fears of the migrant community and the initial scepticism of some members of the local community, were dissipated for ever and we have noticed a marked interest of the participant Egyptians to feel more of our questionnaires! So that a side benefit of our ID was the collection of 25 more questionnaires that enrich our Data Bank.

Findings, grievances, ideas for local action and initiatives to create the first "solidarity fund" of Egyptian Migrant Fishermen in Greece at Kavala, shall be discussed in detail in our communique in the M4D community of practice this week.

Panos Papantonopoulos