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FLAG factsheet - Finland - Gulf of Bothnia

Offical name: 
Nouseva Rannikkoseutu ry - Perämeri
Northern Ostrobothnia
Gulf of Bothnia
Click to enlarge
Description of the area and its main challenges

Coastal area between Kokkola & Tornio and Lake Pyhäjärvi in the Baltic Sea Gulf of Bothnia area, there are nearly 400 fishermen registered in the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and Environment´s Central Fisheries Registar System. Approximately a quarter of them are professional fishermen. However, falling profitability of fishing and an ageing workforce in the sector have significantly reduced the number of professional fishers in the last few decades.  Increased costs, lower producer prices for certain fish species along with additional challenges such as fishing quotas and growing seal populations all contribute to the decrease in the profitability of fishing. As the traditional fisheries get more and more marginal, the region wants to invest in technologies like ICT along with more historical industries like metal and wood processing. The regional capital Oulu is a fairly well-known technology centre linked with the Nokia mobile phones, for example.

Population: 193 496                                     Employment in fisheries: approx 250-300

Surface area/km²: 12 033                          Coastal or inland: mainly coastal

Population Density/ Inhabitants/ km²: 16        Protected areas: Gulf of Bothnia National Park

Main focus of FLAG strategy

The main objectives of the programme are as follows:

- increasing the profitability of fishing

- developing fishing tourism

- promoting part-time fishing

Environmental Management (1-5, where 5 is high priority and 1 is low priority) : 3

Improving the competitiveness of the fisheries sector (1-5) : 5

Diversification into other activities (1-5) : 5

Project examples and ideas

- Educational project to introduce children to the fishing sector

- Bringing together fishermen and tourism businessmen to develop fishing tourism.

- Research project into making better use of less-valued fish species. The project identified a market in Europe, exporting certain species as frozen blocks. A challenge, however, is that the area does not yet have ports equipped with freezers and adequate collecting systems.

- Local fish events to raise awareness about the fishing sector and promote cooperation among fishermen and with other local actors. The events would also be an opportunity for fishermen to sell their produce


Lead Partner/Responsible Legal Entity:  Nouseva Rannikkoseutu (a Leader LAG which managed the setting up of the FLAG and manages the programme) 

Other key actors/organisations in the partnership : The Centre for Economic Development, Transport and Environment; Perämeren kalatalousyhteisöjen liitto ry (local organization which consults fishermen); local fisheries entrepreneurs; other Leader LAGs; local public bodies etc.   

Links with LEADER : The FLAG has been set up under the Leader LAG,Nouseva Rannikkoseutu. Nouseva Rannikkoseutu employed a person to carry out local animation and encourage people to present projects. This animation work covers 6 Leader areas.

% of public actors : 30

% of fisheries actors : 60

% of other (non-fisheries) private / NGO sector actors : 10

% of environmental actors : 0

Number of individuals/organisations in partnership : 25

Number of individuals on main decision-making body : 13

Number of contracted staff in FLAG : 1


Total public funding 2007-2013 : € 896 000 (2008-2011)

EFF : € 344 000

Other public : € 552 000 (€ 456 000 national;€ 96 000 municipalities)

Private : € 304 000

FLAG Manager: 
Risto Tolonen
Nouseva Rannikkoseutu ry, Ruukinkuja 2, 92400 Ruukki, Finland
risto.tolonen (at)
+358 50 39 50 304
Languages spoken: 
Finnish, English