Fisheries Areas Network

Country Factsheet

Bulgaria - 9 FLAGs - 18.6 M€

In Bulgaria there are nine FLAGs, four inland and five at the Black Sea. Their strategies address several local challenges, including, poor socio-economic conditions in the fisheries areas; low attractiveness of the fisheries areas; low organisational and administrative capacity, as well as the need to decrease economic dependency on fisheries activities. To cope with these challenges, the focus of CLLD is on diversifying activities; promoting social wellbeing and cultural heritage; enhancing and capitalising on environmental assets.

CLLD Programme

CLLD Context: 

The Republic of Bulgaria is situated in the Eastern Balkan Peninsula, bordering five countries - Greece and Turkey to the south, Macedonia and Serbia to the west, while the Danube defines the border with Romania in the north.  The population of Bulgaria is 7.1 million people, and the surface area is 110,994 km2 (0.3% of which is water).  The Bulgarian Black Sea coastline is 378 km long. The country has a dense network of about 540 rivers, most of which are relatively small with low water levels. The total length of rivers for inland fishing is 20 231 km, with a water area of 15 000 ha and about 65 different fish species.

The economic importance of the fishing and aquaculture sector is very small compared to the Bulgarian GDP despite the continuous increase in the number of farms and production (in 2014 the sales are around €7,1 Million). The total catches of fish and other marine organisms from commercial fishing in the Black Sea is 8 547 tonnes a year and 143 tonnes from the Danube river (2014).

The Bulgarian Black Sea fishing fleet consists of 2 005 fishing vessels out of which only half are active and operating (2014). 95% of the fishing fleet consists of boats that are 12 metres in length or less and a substantial part of them use gill-nets as their primary fishing tool. The Danube river fishing fleet consists of 1 346 fishing vessels.

At the end of 2014 the total quantity of aquaculture products was 11 207 tonnes from which 9 113 tonnes were for consumption. About 90% of aquaculture production in Bulgaria is cyprinids (mainly carp and herbivorous complex — silver carp and bighead carp, grass carp), trout species (essentially rainbow trout). The only marine aquaculture product in Bulgaria is the Mediterranean mussel, with 45 farms with a total annual production of 2 520 tonnes of which the foremost part is exported. During last years, production of new species as sturgeon and catfish have been introduced.

Between 2007 and 2013 the consumption of fish and fish products increased by nearly 56% (from 4.3kg to 6.7kg per household member).

Contact details of the managing authority can be found here.

More information about national EMFF programmes can be found here.

Axis 4 achievements (2007-2013): 

During the EFF period, Bulgaria had six FLAGs (four on the Black Sea, one along the Danube River and one inland) and spent €19.5 Million in Axis 4 (around €14.6 million from EFF) with a total of 237 projects, creating 411 new jobs with 153 of them employing women.

Types of projects were the following: promotion of local fishery and aquaculture products (82); new tourism products (49); creation or renovation of recreational sites (74), and more than 50 festivals, concerts, exhibitions, fairs, ect. were held.

The final report of the Bulgarian EFF OP is available at the following link (only in Bulgarian).

CLLD objectives and challenges for 2014-2020: 

The main challenges that Community-Led Local Development will have to address in Bulgarian fisheries areas in the coming years are:

  • disadvantaged socio-economic characteristics in the fisheries areas
  • the need to increase the attractiveness of the fisheries areas
  • the need to enhance organisational and administrative capacity at the local level
  • the need to mobilise local human resources and decrease economic dependency on fisheries activities

To cope with these challenges, the objectives for CLLD in Bulgaria for 2014-2020 are to encourage the economic growth, social inclusion, and job creation within the communities in the coastal regions and the regions of the inland water bodies, which mostly depend on fisheries and aquaculture activities. To this end, the focus will be on:

  • diversifying activities;
  • promoting social well-being and cultural heritage;
  • enhancing and capitalising on environmental assets.

The number of FLAGs has increased from 6 to 9. Compared to 2007-2013, the total budget for CLLD has been decreased (from 19,5 M€ to €17.8 M€), so the average budget per FLAG is lower (from €3.6 Million to €2.2 Million

CLLD Budget

Total budget: 
€18 579 737
  • EMFF budget for CLLD: 
    €15 792 775
  • Co-funding: 
    €2 786 962
  • Proportion of CLLD in EMFF budget: 
Number of FLAGs: 
Average budget per FLAG: 
€2 064 415

National Network

The Operational Programme foresees a National Network with a budget of €0.2 Million. The tasks of the NN are:

  • to coordinate between FLAGs and the MA
  • to participate at FARNET activities and share experience locally
  • the collection, analysis, and dissemination of information about CLLD good practices
  • the FLAG capacity building
  • to support innovation
  • to support cooperation
  • communication on CLLD to the wider public

Click here for the National Network contact details.


Code Name Region Surface area (km²) Population Population density (per km²) Employment in fisheries*
BG201 High Western Rhodopes FLAG 1534 25188 16 77
BG202 Pazardzhik FLAG
602 40450 67 46
BG203 Nessebar - Messemvria FLAG 420 27273 65
BG204 Varna & Asparuhovo Area FLAG 578 59575 103 439
BG205 Shabla - Kavarna - Balchik FLAG 1335 38879 29 383
BG206 Bulgarian Black Sea Agreement Byala-Dolni chiflik-Avren 1004 31621 31 59
BG207 Pomorie FLAG 413 27399 66 225
BG208 Burgas-Kameno FLAG
553 67187 129 1012
BG209 FLAG Samokov 1210 35871 34 48
(*)according to the information received from the FLAG


Publication date: 
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