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FLAG factsheet - Italy - Gargano Lagoons

Offical name: 
Gruppo di Azione Costiero Lagune del Gargano
Gargano Lagoons (Lesina and Varano) and the coastline of North Gargano
Click to enlarge
Description of the area and its main challenges

The FLAG area covers the municipalities of northern Gargano: Cagnano Varano, Hvar, Ischitella and San Nicandro Garganico. The presence of two lagoons, Hvar and Lesina, and the diverse flora and fauna they support gives this area an important environmental value. The Lesina lagoon has an elongated configuration, extending to 24.4 km in length and 2.4 km wide, on average. The perimeter is about 50 km and the average depth is 70 cm, with peaks of 1.5 metres. The Varano lagoon has a vaguely trapezoidal shape: 10 km long, 7 km, wide with a perimeter of about 33 km and an average depth of 3 metres, and up to 5 metres. The coastline is sandy and surrounded by lush Mediterranean vegetation and forests.
Fisheries activities play an important role in the local economy, with Gargano being one of the main fishing areas in the Province of Foggia. The norm here is small-scale fisheries, with small boats and traditional fishing gear. Shellfish farming (mussels and clams) is also important in the area. The area of Cagnano Varano is the second largest producer of mussels in Puglia after Taranto and one of the most important in Italy. However, this activity still relies on traditional methods of farming.
The main challenge for the FLAG is to boost the local economy by promoting and strengthening the local fisheries sector and improving the quality of life in the fisheries area while ensuring the environmental sustainability of the lagoon.

Population: 35 160                                                                             Employment in fisheries: 283

Surface area/km²: 578                                                                     Coastal or inland: inland and coastal

Population Density/ Inhabitants/ km²: 60                                     Protected areas: Gargano National Park, Gargano Promontory, Lakes Lesina and Varano; Varano Island and Lake; Lesina Dune and Lake - Mouth of the Fortore valley and Lake Occhito; Foresta Umbra; Castagneto Pia - Lapolda, the Monte Serra; Bosco Jancuglia and Monte Castello, and the State Natural Reserve (Lake Lesina -eastern part, Isola Varano, Ischitella and Carpino).

Main focus of FLAG strategy

The FLAG strategy focuses on the following objectives:

- Promoting the integrated development of the fisheries sector;
- Promoting the sustainability of fisheries and aquaculture;
- Protecting and enhancing the lagoon environment;
- Better integration of the supply chain – the production-processing-marketing of fisheries products;
- Implementing marketing and communication strategies to promote fisheries and aquaculture products;
- Supporting the training of local operators and developing business competitiveness;
- Facilitating research and cooperation and promoting the exchange of good practices.

Environmental Management (1-5, where 5 is high priority and 1 is low priority): 4

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

Diversification into other activities (1-5): 4

Project examples and ideas

- Promoting the aquaculture industry, with a view to diversifying production and assisting traditional mussels farming;
- Supporting the expansion / modernisation of public infrastructure or equipment for fishing in inland waters;
- Promoting and developing small-scale fisheries in inland waters, while also ensuring the sustainable exploitation of aquatic resources;
- Promoting investment in the processing and marketing of fish products;
- Developing pilot projects aimed at improving fisheries and livestock;
- Developing new markets and carrying out promotional campaigns;
- Establishing centers for fishing and tourism at Lagunas del Gargano;
- Creating a data center, "Atlas of the Lagoons of Gargano”.


Lead partner or Responsible Legal Entity: GAC Lagune del Gargano

Other key actors/organisations in the partnership: the municipalities of Lesina, Cagnano Varano, Ischitella, Sannicandro Garganico; the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Foggia;
five fishing associations: AGCI, ALLOY FISHING, FEDERCOPESCA, FEDERPESCA, UNCI FISHING; the LAG Daunia Rural; and the National Confederation of Artisans of Coldiretti (CAN).

Links with LEADER: Yes, the LAG Daunia Rurale is one of the members of the FLAG.

% of public actors (on the decision-making board): 38.5

% of fisheries actors: 38.5

% of other (non-fisheries) private / NGO sector actors: 23

% of environmental actors: 0

Number of individuals/organisations in partnership: 13

Number of individuals on main decision-making body: 13

Number of contracted staff in FLAG: under recruitment


Total public budget of FLAG 2007-2013:                                               1 907 125.00

EFF:                                                                                                           953 562.50

Other public (national/ regional/ provincial):                                                 953 562.50

FLAG Manager: 
Monica Contegiacomo
Other contact: 
President: Fabio Porreca
Via Dante Alighieri 27 -71100 Foggia, Italy
info (at)
+39 0881797319
+39 0881 722884
Languages spoken: 
Italian and English