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FLAG factsheet - Portugal - GAC Sotavento Algarve

Offical name: 
Grupo de Acção Costeira do Sotavento Algarve
Sotavento (Eastern Algarve)
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Description of the area and its main challenges

The area is home to the Ria Formosa National Park stretching on a 60 km coastline, covering more than 18.000 ha of coastal stretches, wetlands and islands, while neighbouring main urban areas such as Faro.  The main objective of the FLAG is to strenghten local and regional development, in a sustainable way, combining the activities of fishing and tourism since much of the population depends on fishing and aquaculture.

Population: 218 000 (2007) Employment in fisheries: 11 290 (2007)

Surface area/km²: 19 245 ha Coastal or inland: Coastal 

Population Density/ Inhabitants/ km²: 1 099 Protected areas: 50 500m² of the Ria Formosa Park 

Main focus of FLAG strategy

Promote entrepreneurship to fishermen economically disadvantaged, notably by integration through professional training; diversify economic and social activities through better use of existing resources in Ria Formosa (ecotourism); going further in the development of local participatory management to ensure self-sustainability beyond the scope and time of the project

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

Improving the competitiveness of the fisheries sector (1-5): 4

Diversification into other activities (1-5): 5

Other :      

Project examples and ideas

- Initiatives aimed at promoting support for disasters (natural, industrial), which put the environment and sustainable fishing activities at risk.

- Facilitate the diversification or reconversion of fishermen and their families in other activities  and promote the development of projects bringing added value to fisheries activity (fishing-tourism, processing, services, etc).

- Rehabilitation, adaptation and expansion of buildings with symbolic value for the fishing community in the purpose of providing facilities for research, SME and socio-cultural activities.


Lead Partner/Responsible Legal Entity :  Município de Olhão

Other key actors/organisations in the partnership : Municípios de Faro, Tavira, Vila Real de Santo António, Castro Marim e Loulé; IPIMAR, Universidade do Algarve, Associação Nacional dos Industriais da Conserva de Peixe, Cooperativa Formosa, OlhãoPesca, Tradisal, Vivmar, Associação N.ª Sr.ª dos Navegantes da Ilha da Culatra, Associação dos Pescadores da Pesca Artesanal da Baía da Ilha da Culatra, Associação dos Produtores em Aquacultura do Algarve, Associação dos Moradores da Ilha da Culatra, Associação de Armadores e Pescadores de Tavira, Quarpesca, Associação de Armadores de Pesca do Sotavento do Algarve, Associação para a Defesa e Desenvolvimento da Praia de Faro

Links with LEADER: no link            

% of public actors: 38

% of fisheries actors : 48

% of other (non-fisheries) private / NGO sector actors: 14

% of environmental actors: 0

Number of individuals/organisations in partnership: 21

Number of individuals on main decision-making body: 7

Number of contracted staff in FLAG: 2 fulltime + 2 half-time.


Total public funding 2007-2013: € 3 739 112.00

EFF: € 3 017 665.00

Other public: €    721 447.00


FLAG Manager: 
Rita Pestana
Other contact: 
President: Ana Margarida Magalhães
Grupo de Acção Costeira do Sotavento Algarve, Largo Sebastião Martins Mestre 8700 - 952 Olhão
rpestana ( at )
+351 289 700 171 / +351 968 335 819
+351 289 700 111
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