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FLAG factsheet - Italy - Stretto Coast

Offical name: 
Gruppo di Azione Costiera dello Stretto
Southern Tyrrhenian area
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Description of the area and its main challenges

The Stretto Coast FLAG covers seven municipalities along the Tyrrhenian coast of the Province of Reggio Calabria. These include, stretching from north to south: San Ferdinando, Gioia Tauro, Palmi, Seminara, Bagnara Calabra, Scilla and Villa San Giovanni. The presence of littoral hills is prevalent in the area, followed by flatlands (San Ferdinando and Gioia Tauro).
Around 80% of the coast, from Palmi to Villa San Giovanni, is commonly known as Costa Viola (purple coast), probably because of the colour of the sea water at a certain time of day. The majority of fishing boats are registered in the municipality of Bagnara Calabra, and the town of Villa San Giovanni is the waypoint for traffic to and from Sicily. However, the port at Gioia Tauro is the busiest and largest container terminal in Italy and the Mediterranean area, and the seventh biggest container port in Europe.
Two protected areas fall within the FLAG territory: the Gioia Tauro Plain, with a landscape dominated by centenary olive trees; and the “Costa Viola”, famous for its terraced vineyards with dry stone walls called “armacìe”.

The main challenges for the area are the development of sustainable tourism, the development and marketing of local products, the diversification of incomes, and the enhancement of environmental resources.

Population: 74 950                                                                                 Employment in fisheries: 25 companies (0.6% of total companies for 0.94% of local jobs) 

Surface area (km²): 198                                                                           Coastal or inland: Coastal

Population Density (Inhabitants/ km²): 376                                  Protected areas: Aspromonte National Park (partly); Sites of Community Importance: Fondali di Scilla (IT9350173) and Costa Viola e Monte S. Elia (IT9350158).


Main focus of FLAG strategy

- To improve the economic and social performance of coastal areas and add value to fisheries and aquaculture products;
- To create employment in fisheries areas, especially through diversification;
- To enhance the quality of the coastal environment;
- To promote national and transnational cooperation between fisheries areas;

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

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

Diversification into other activities (1-5): 5

Capitalize on the tourism of the FLAG area (such as for tourism): 5

Transnational cooperation (1-5): 4

Project examples and ideas

- Technical and economic analysis on enhancing the sustainability of the fisheries supply chain in the FLAG's area;

- Certification of local fisheries products through the development of specific quality marks and associations among stakeholders;

- Diversification through pesca-tourism and the re-certification of pre-existing structures for ichthytourism;

- The production of a guide on the sustainable consumption of products in the FLAG area;

- The development of sustainable tourism through the creation of pathways, the promotion of aquatic sports, and the establishment of a visitor centre and an eco-museum;

- Transnational cooperation between fisheries areas.


Lead partner or Responsible Legal Entity: Gruppo di Azione Costiera dello Stretto, Consortium ltd

Other key actors/organisations in the partnership: Eleven public entities (municipalities, university departments, etc.), 33 private economic entities representing the fisheries sector (fishermen, cooperatives, ichthyic companies, etc.), and 33 private actors representing other important sectors (such as tourism agencies, environmental associations, etc.).

Links with LEADER: Yes

% of public actors (on the decision-making board): 20

% of fisheries actors: 40

% of other (non-fisheries) private / NGO sector actors / environmental actors: 40

Number of individuals/organisations in partnership: 77

Number of individuals on main decision-making body: 7

Number of contracted staff in FLAG: 4


Total public budget of FLAG 2007-2013:                                     € 2 000 000

EFF:                                                                                              € 1 000 000

Other public (national/regional):                                                     € 1 000 000

FLAG Manager: 
Fortunato Cozzupoli
Other contact: 
President: Antonio Alvaro
via del Torrione 96, 89125 Reggio Calabria (RC) Italy
gacdellostretto (at)
+39 (0)965 897939
+39 (0)965 897939
Languages spoken: 
English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese