Visit the new FARNET 2014-2020 website

FLAG factsheet - United Kingdom - Dumfries and Galloway

Offical name: 
Dumfries and Galloway
United Kingdom
South Western Scotland
Dumfries and Galloway
Description of the area and its main challenges

The FLAG area has a varied and distinct landscape from the intertidal mudflats and merse (saltmarsh) of the inner Solway, to sand and shingle beaches with more rugged rocky coastline and cliffs further west. Within the FLAG area there are a series of coastal communities with direct links to sea fisheries with Annan, Kirkcudbright and Stranraer being the larger towns. The coastline between is largely undeveloped and is punctuated by smaller coastal communities also shaped by their links to fisheries both past and present. The Dumfries and Galloway coastline carries an exceptionally high number of landscape and nature conservation designations including Special Areas of Conservation, Special Protection Area, coastal SSSIs and National Scenic Areas

The Dumfries and Galloway FLAG area is affected by unique issues as well as more generic influences on its fisheries. The high quality of the natural environment and the statutory requirement for management that protects the area’s special features is both an asset and a constraint in terms of fisheries and coastal communities. There is a need to develop a better understanding of the appropriate balance between protection and exploitation based on principles of sustainable use. There is an imperative to counter further regulation of fishing effort with initiatives that capitalise on the premium quality of local catch and maximise its value.

The main issues facing the FLAG area are:
- Lack of support for local business development
- Barriers to employment
- Poor access to services
- Underinvestment in social enterprise and community infrastructure
- Low levels of commercial diversification
- Rising business costs and static shellfish prices
- Poor understanding of fisheries and the marine environment.
- Lack of supporting infrastructure

Population: 30 000 Employment in fisheries: Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics 2010 records 162 people directly employed in the catching sector in Dumfries and Galloway. In addition, large numbers of people are employed in the processing sector and ancillary services such as gear manufacturing. An assessment of the socio-economic status of Dumfries and Galloway’s sea fisheries is required to give more complete and accurate details of statistics including employment
Surface area/km²: The FLAG extends for 300km along the Solway Coastline from Annan in the East to Loch Ryan in the west and focuses on the Coastal communities along its length, and will include communities which have strong links to the Solway Coast
Coastal or inland: Coastal
Population Density/Inhabitants/km²: <25 Protected areas: 3 SAC, 1 SPA, 19 Sites of Special Scientific Interest

Main focus of FLAG strategy

Supporting a sustainable and profitable future for local fishing communities by:
- Driving creative economic development
- Supporting sustainable fisheries
- Promoting thriving communities

Environmental Management (1-5, where 5 is high priority and 1 is low priority): 5
The Solway carries a high number of landscape and nature conservation designations. This includes approximately 90% of the Dumfries and Galloway coastline and large parts of the adjacent sea area which includes two European Marine Sites. There is an imperative to ensure marine industries are compliant with statutory nature conservation requirements and are sensitive to the character of the region.

Improving the competitiveness of the fisheries sector (1-5): 4
The shellfish sector currently has a stable market but there is a need to explore new opportunities to maintain and improve competitiveness in line with developments in other areas. Opportunities to add value and improve marketing are areas that require support.

Diversification into other activities (1-5): 4
Opportunities to link fisheries and tourism to create diversification opportunities and add to the tourism offer for the region need to be explored.
Improving links between science, industry and regulators (1-5): 4
There is a need to improve links between science, industry and regulators; support research and development in the fisheries industry; support effective communication with and representation for the local fisheries sector; capitalise on unique features such as the value of heritage fisheries; improve interpretation, industry facilities and the visitor experience at ports and harbours; provide business support and training opportunities.

Project examples and ideas

Potential projects include:
- Supply and demand study to assess the potential to improve distribution of locally landed seafood to local shops and restaurants
- Development of marketing material that tells the story of local fisheries improving understanding of the industry and adding to visitors’ experience of the area
- Development of a seafood festival
- Establishment of a marine tourism consortium to explore the potential to develop marine wildlife and pescatourism
- Progression of sustainability assessment to improve management, add value and secure markets
- Investment in gear development research and modification to reduce environmental impact and incidental mortality
- Investment in interpretation at ports and harbours
- Investment in education and training to increase understanding of fisheries and ecosystems and foster closer links between science and industry


Lead partner or Responsible Legal Entity: Dumfries and Galloway Council.

Other key actors/organisations in the partnership:
- Dumfries and Galloway Council
- Scottish Enterprise
- Scottish Natural Heritage
- Nith District Salmon Fishery Board
- Solway Firth Partnership
- South Rhins Community Development Trust
- Galloway Static Gear Fishermen’s Association
- West of Scotland Seafish Training Association
- Scallop fishing - catching
- Saltire Seafoods Limited
- Galloway Smokehouse

Links with LEADER: Strong links with Leader are already in place between many of the key partners and will be maintained and developed through means including the FLAG communication strategy and existing networking structures. The Leader programme in Dumfries and Galloway, whilst independent, is supported by Dumfries and Galloway Council through the Economic Development Service. The European Fisheries Fund and FLAG are also being supported through Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Economic Development Service and the cross working and interaction between the two services will be fully integrated and supportive.

% of public actors (on the decision-making board): 25

% of fisheries actors: 33

% of other (non-fisheries) private / NGO sector actors: 17

% of environmental actors: 25

Number of individuals/organisations in partnership: 12

Number of individuals on main decision-making body: 12

Number of contracted staff in FLAG: 1



Total public budget of FLAG 2007-2013:               €1 357 878
EFF:                                                                        €   678 939
Other public (national/ regional/ provincial):      €   678 939

FLAG Manager: 
Scott Green
Council Offices, Militia House, English Street, Dumfries, DG1 2HR, Scotland, United Kingdom.
Scott.Green (at)
+44 1387 260513
Languages spoken: