Saint Gilles Croix de Vie is inextricably linked with its fishing port, which specialises in blue fish (sardines, mackerel and horse mackerel).
It represents a fleet of 53 vessels with some 140 fishermen. The site has a computerised auction with ten European-standard fish-merchandising workshops. The boats are multi-skilled, allowing them to carry out several types of fishing: trawling, pelagic, line, net, etc.
On average, more than 4,000 tonnes of fish are landed each year, with sardines, sea bass and whiting the main species.
Port development in the area is the responsibility of the Communauté de Communes. A number of initiatives have been put in place to give the general public an insight into how fish are transported and how the port and auction work.
The "Live from the fish auction" and "Behind the scenes at the fish auction" guided tours offer a unique opportunity to see a real fish auction. After registering in advance at the Tourist Office, visitors enter the sales area and can discover all the species of the day. They can then cross the harbour with a guide to learn about fishing techniques and discuss the work of today's fishermen over a sailor's café. This is also an opportunity to discover traditional fishing activities on trawlers, casey boats and longliners.
Another initiative is the creation of a "Poisson du Pays de Saint Gilles" label for fish shops. The aim? To encourage people to take an active role in their local area and consume locally!