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FLAG factsheet - Greece - Aitoliki

Offical name: 
Αιτωλική Αναπτυξιακή Α.Ε. Ο.Τ.Α.
Western Greece
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Description of the area and its main challenges

The area of intervention is made up of the municipalities of Nafpaktos, Aetoliko and Messolonghi in western Greece. The latter two form one geographical unit and consist of the Aetoliko – Messolonghi lagoon which covers 92.30% of the total area’s surface. The areas of Aitoliki and Messolonghi are mainly flat and their coastlines sandy while Nafpaktos is more hilly with a pebble coastline.

The principal economic activities in the area are agriculture, fishing and tourism. In terms of fisheries, this is a very important sector for the region. Most fishing in the area takes place in the Messolonghi-Aitoliko Lagoon and is based on traditional methods. With regards to tourism, this is the activity with most potential for development. Some of the area's’ main challenges are to adequately harness the natural and cultural recourses that exist in the area, as well as increasing the value of fisheries products, promoting small scale tourism, and strengthening entrepreneurship. 
Population:  32 022                                                      Employment in fisheries: 3.46%

Surface area/km²:  226.88                                         Coastal or inland: coastal

Population Density/ Inhabitants/ km²:  141.14   Protected areas: Three in total: Different parts of two municipalities are considered Natura/ Ramsar protected areas, cover 87,6 km2  and constitute 38,57% of the total area of intervention. Those areas are located at the Delta of Acheloos River, at Mesolonghi- Aetoliko Lagoon and at the estuaries of Evinos river.

Main focus of FLAG strategy

The main objectives of the FLAG’s strategy are:
- The improvement of the local tourism capacities (developing special forms of tourism)
- Strengthening and promoting the exploitation and diversification of fisheries products in order to boost fishermen´s income.
- Promoting the local environmental and cultural assets.
- Supporting entrepreneurship. 
- The exploitation of new technologies and the application of quality standards.
- Enhancing know-how transfer and cooperation at regional and interregional level

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

Improving the competitiveness of the fisheries sector (1-5): 3

Diversification into other activities (1-5): 5

Project examples and ideas

-  In terms of tourism: Setting up accommodation units, restaurants and alternative activities and services.
-  Establishing small industry units for fisheries products.
-  Building recreational and bird-watching parks
-  Creation of a museum about traditional fishing techniques.


Lead partner or Responsible Legal Entity: Aitoliki Development Enterprise S.A. 

Other key actors/organisations in the partnership: Local Union of Municipalities and Communities of the Provincial  Administration of Aitoloakarnania, Municipalities of Messolonghi and Nafpaktia, Region of Western Greece Managing Authority of the Messolonghi–Aetoliko Lagoon, Technical Chamber of Greece, Regional Department of the Provincial Administration of Aitoloakarnania, Fishermen’s  Associations of Aetoliko “DOLMAS” and “MESSOLONGHI”, Federation of Fishermen’s Associations of Western Greece, Commercial Association of Nafpaktos “HERMES” and  Young’s Association of Messolonghi.

Links with LEADER: Aitoliki FLAG is also a LAG for Leader 2007-2013. Aitoliki SA has acted also as a LAG for Leader II and Leader + programmes.

% of public actors: 45.45%      

% of fisheries actors: 27.27%     

% of other (non-fisheries) private / NGO sector actors: 18.18%

% of environmental actors: 9.1%

Number of individuals/organisations in partnership: 15 (i.e. the shareholders of Aitoliki SA)

Number of individuals on main decision-making body: 10

Number of contracted staff in FLAG: 5 (1.8 FTE)


Total public funding 2007-2013:                         € 4 610 000

EFF:                                                                      € 3 457 500

Other public (national/ regional/ provincial):    € 1 152 500

Private:                                                                 € 1 947 000

FLAG Manager: 
Nikoleta Katsoni
Other contact: 
President - Ioannis Boules
Antirrio – Nafpaktos National Rd. Antirrio 30020, Greece
info (at)
+30 263 403 8110
+30 263 402 9927
Languages spoken: 
Greek, English, Italian