Fisheries Areas Network

Country Factsheet

Germany - 29 FLAGs - 24 M€

Fishing has a strong tradition in the coastal regions and in some inland areas of Germany. The main issues include a decline of fish stocks; high unemployment rate and low GDP per capita in some fisheries areas compared to other areas in Germany; the vulnerability of the sector to market fluctuations; and environmental degradation, especially eutrophication in the Baltic Sea. CLLD in Germany aims to better take into account the multi-sectoral needs of fisheries areas (tourism, heritage, local products, etc.); to develop capacity and know-how within the 29 German FLAGs; to simplify administrative procedures; and to promote networking with other regions and the sharing of information.

CLLD Programme

CLLD Context: 

The total value of all fish caught is less than 2% of the total value of the country’s agricultural output. Nevertheless, fishing has a strong tradition in the coastal regions and also in some inland areas. About 1 372 people are employed full-time in fishing, with a further 1 063 in the aquaculture sector. Overall, the fisheries sector employs more than 40 000 people and provides consumers with over 1.2 million metric tonnes of high-quality fisheries products each year, with a total value of €8.5 billion.

German fisheries activities are mainly confined to the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and long distant waters. In January 2012, the fleet consisted of 1 582 vessels, which makes it one of the smallest fleets in the European Union. Fishing on the Baltic coast is almost exclusively small-scale, with 1 174 vessels of less than 12 meters, using mainly passive gear such as gill nets and fish traps. The evolution of the fishing fleet in recent years shows that there has been a slight decrease in terms of the number of vessels, especially those under 12 meters, which declined by 27%.

Around 80% of the total output of inland fisheries comes from aquaculture, a sector with considerable potential for growth. The remaining 20% comes from traditional river and lake fisheries. In addition to professional fishermen, more than 1.5 million recreational fishermen use and manage Germany's waterways, catching around 9 000 tonnes of fish every year.

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): 

In the previous programming period, Germany had a total of 23 FLAGs. In two of the six Länder concerned (Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western-Pomerania), the FLAGs had strong links with LEADER. In general, the FLAGs in Germany represented a variety of actors, including the public and private sectors (i.e. fisheries, tourism, agriculture), as well as civil society.

The main achievement in Germany is the improved networking between these different actors. While the focus and size of the partnerships varied, a priority for all FLAGs was the participation of actors from the fisheries sector, which was not always easy to achieve.

CLLD objectives and challenges for 2014-2020: 

The main challenges that community-led local development (CLLD) will have to address in Germany’s fisheries areas in the coming years include:

  • A decline of fish stocks has affected the fisheries sector;
  • Economic indicators such as the unemployment rate or GDP per capita are less favourable than the average in the German fisheries areas;
  • The vulnerability of the sector to market fluctuations;
  • Environmental degradation, especially eutrophication in the Baltic Sea.

To cope with these challenges, and taking into account the lessons from the past, the objectives of CLLD in Germany in the period 2014-2020 are:

  • To better take account of the multi-sectoral needs of fisheries areas (tourism, heritage, local products, etc.);
  • To develop capacity and know-how within FLAGs;
  • To simplify administrative procedures;
  • To encourage cooperation and the exchange of experience from other programmes;
  • To promote networking with other regions and the sharing of information on projects and policies.

The number of FLAGs has increased from 23 up to 29 covering the same six Länder: Niedersachsen, Schleswig-Holstein, Sachsen, Bayern, Bremen and Mecklenburg-Western-Pomerania. Compared to 2007-2013, the total budget for CLLD has decreased from €33.6 million to €24.6 million, which means the average budget per FLAG will fall from €1.5 million to €0.82 - €0.85 million.

Multi-fund CLLD in Germany

In Germany, coordination between funds or multi funding, especially between the EAFRD and the EMFF is encouraged. LAGs/FLAGs decide autonomously how best to coordinate the different funds (e.g. joint working groups, joint implementation strategy, etc..). 


CLLD Budget

Total budget: 
€24 116 824
  • EMFF budget for CLLD: 
    €20 499 300
  • Co-funding: 
    €3 617 524
  • Proportion of CLLD in EMFF budget: 
Number of FLAGs: 
Average budget per FLAG: 
€831 615

National Network

The German national network (NN) for the period 2007–2013 was formally established in the second half of 2011, following agreement by the six German Länder that participated in Axis 4 of the EFF and the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection. The NN was coordinated by two FLAGs (Bremerhaven and Lower Saxony) and was conceived as a pilot for future networking activities.

For the 2014-2020 period, the German Operational Programme proposed the re-establishment of the network of FLAGs, without detailing the mandate, timing or budget. The establishement did not materialise due to administrative reasons.

Delivery of CLLD

Key actors and roles: 

The selection of FLAGs is the responsibility of the Länder, which may use different processes.

The FLAG strategies were developed at local level using a bottom-up process, which involved the participation of a broad range of actors. In this context, and given the different profiles of the FLAG areas selected, the strategies vary from one area to another. However, all FLAGs must prioritise some of the following themes identified in the operational programme:

  • Strengthening competitiveness;
  • Improving fisheries and tourism infrastructure;
  • Diversification;
  • Promoting local, sustainable tourism and eco-tourism;
  • Protecting the environment in fisheries areas;
  • Reviving and developing fishing communities;
  • Cooperation among fishing communities;
  • Protecting and enhancing the natural and architectural heritage.


Code Name Region Surface area (km²) Population Population density (per km²) Employment in fisheries*
DE201 Northern North Friesland FLAG
56 1236 22 36
DE202 Southern North Friesland FLAG
56 1236 22 36
DE203 Dithmarschen FLAG
88 14106 107 42
DE204 Steinburg FLAG
23 11815 514 42
DE205 Schlei-Baltic Sea FLAG
417 57956 139 39
DE206 Hills of the Baltic Sea beach FLAG
470 71800 153 40
DE207 Baltic Sea coast FLAG
175 35350 185 61
DE208 Wagrien-Fehmarn FLAG
584 66859 114 252
DE209 Inner Luebeck Bay FLAG
92 21140 230 45
DE210 Lower Saxon North Sea coast FLAG
Lower Saxony
1593 198825 124 289
DE211 Tirschenreuth / Land of a thousand ponds FLAG
1084 76308 68 1000
DE212 Karpfenland Middle Upper Palatinate FLAG
1896 170110 90
DE213 Karpfenland Aischgrund FLAG
1878799 280000 149 1600
DE214 Karpfenland Romantic Franconia FLAG
1972 182178 92 50
DE215 Delitzsch area FLAG
580 80849 139 10
DE216 South Leipzig area FLAG
575 120583 209 15
DE217 Saxon Zweistromland - East Elbe FLAG
919 62109 67 12
DE218 Elbe-Roeder Triangle FLAG
299 29573 99 10
DE219 Dresdner Heidebogen FLAG
975 104500 107 51
DE220 Lusatian Lake District FLAG
917 60622 66 10
DE221 Heather and pond landscape of Oberlausitz FLAG
671 80343 105 50
DE222 Eastern Oberlausitz FLAG
1037 56034 57 20
DE223 Bremerhaven FLAG
4 247 39 4000
DE224 West Mecklenburg Baltic Sea coast FLAG
1402 127657 91 70
DE225 Baltic Sea - Bad Doberan FLAG
1362 115790 85 27
DE226 Guestrower District FLAG
2060 94835 46 28
DE227 Inland fishing Mecklenburg Lake District FLAG
4402 228871 52 150
DE228 North Western Pomerania FLAG
DE229 Ruegen FLAG
978 64730 66 200
(*)according to the information received from the FLAG


Publication date: 
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