Defining a vision for better futures in the fishing industry

Contextual Research

With Docapesca


To help and inspire Docapesca to define the company’s vision for the following five years.


The immersive research held with a systemic approach helped us understand the context and needs of the people in the fishing industry, the organizations, and the impact on the planet.

Contextual Research
2 months, July — August 2022
Strategy, Research
Maria Gomes, Ana Oliveira,

João Sevilhano (Way Beyond)


The fishing industry is a remarkably complex one. People still have a precarious vision of the sector, making it less attractive to the youth, leading to a lack of human resources, investment, and general working conditions. Also, due to the impact on the ocean, the future of fishing feels uncertain. Docapesca has to respond to Government’s programs, but the company wanted to listen to the stakeholders’ visions and needs to get inspired to innovate, keeping its relevance in the market.


Translate the challenges and visions of the fishing industry and filter opportunities and relevant actions for Docapesca in the next five years.


Align the vision for the future, creating a moment for shared and diverging thinking about 2028 — creating future scenarios and identifying relevant topics among Docapesca leaders.


Come down to earth in 2022: we went to the field and gathered information in the real world. We listened to people, immersed ourselves, and observed their actual context.


Validate the information acquired and gather new insights alongside different stakeholders. After prioritizing the needs Docapesca could take some action on, we invited the stakeholders to ideate solutions.


Together with Docapesca’s leaders, combining the research findings and prioritizing the ideated solutions, we defined part of the goals and initiatives for the company.


A detailed report containing all the field findings: from research, case studies, trends, co-creative moments, needs, and opportunities leading to a strategic vision for the future.


Desk research was a way to get field context through news, reports, and scientific and non-scientific information on the industry, but especially to get inspiration. We investigated what was happening in other countries and industries, such as fashion. The end goal was to make the value chain more transparent and unambiguous to the end consumer.

We conducted seven in-depth interviews and conversations with fishermen, activists, cultivators, and the secretary of state for fisheries. Those gave us a deeper understanding of Portugal’s challenges, the Government’s priorities for the sector, the industry’s significant impacts on the planet, and the essential needs and desires of those fishing daily or trying to develop a new business as fish farmers.

We strategically used four workshops to acquire, validate, diverge, and converge information through exercises, group conversations, and a great lunch at a fish restaurant beside the fish port. 

Two workshops were conducted with all Docapesca leaders, and the other two contemplated chefs, fishermen, entrepreneurs, a shipyard owner, a researcher at IPMA (The Portuguese Institute for Sea and Atmosphere), the councilor’s advisor for the environment of the Cascais area, and different stakeholders from Docapesca.

Aiming towards the future vision for Docapesca and the industry, the survey complemented the first workshop with the leaders as a way to reach all the company employees.

The team went on a fishing boat to understand what it means to be a fisherman at sea. We had the opportunity to observe the work and question several things during the trip. After this intense and amazing experience, we watched the fish auction at the Lota de Peniche.


The main outcomes of this strategic research project were the clear identification and mapping of key points that are relevant today but look into the future.

We looked at fishing as a national activity, its impact, and relationship with the oceans. From dissecting these consequences, we identified new forms of emerging production and understood the consumers’ needs and wishes. We mapped and prioritized all these different perspectives so that Docapesca could take relevant action.


Here are the main takeaways:

  • Identifying fundamental needs and possible futures for the fishing industry, aquaculture, oceans, and consumerism.
  • Defining and delivering the company's concepts, values, and strategic axes.
  • Mapping fundamental goals and new bets that included several initiatives for Docapesca.

Tiago's got time for you

He nevers misses an email.

Back to Top