Ninety percent of Greece’s population of 11 million inhabitants lives in coastal areas. Hence, fisheries and aquaculture have a strong socio-economic importance in Greek society. The types of projects to be supported by the 33 Greek FLAGs include activities to increase the added value of fisheries products; support for diversification, such as small-scale tourism and short sea shipping; educational projects; activities to enhance and capitalize on the environmental assets of fisheries areas; promoting social wellbeing and maritime cultural heritage in fisheries areas.
Fisheries in Greece is typically multi-gear and multi-species and the Greek fishing fleet has more vessels than any other fleet in the EU (15 693 in 2014 ). However, it accounts for only around the 4.6% of the EU’s capacity as 94% of its vessels undertake small-scale coastal fishing of limited capacity. In 2013 there were a total of 22 546 people employed in fisheries sector but the sector faces a number of weaknesses including the age of its fleet (the average vessel age is 27 years), low competitiveness and economic performance, lack of infrastructure, ageing fishermen and inadequate training.
Aquaculture, on the other hand, is growing fast in Greece, representing a major share of national fish production and contributing significantly to the Greek economy. In 2013 aquaculture production was estimated at 113 852 tonnes with a value of €435 398 000. European sea bass and gilthead sea bream are key species with 65% of all sea bass and gilthead sea bream farmed in the EU in 2012 being produced in Greece. In 2013 there were a total of 4 115 people employed in the aquaculture sector. Efforts are required, however, to enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of the sector by promoting innovation, better environmental protection, the acquisition of new skills and a more open playing field.
There is also significant scope to improve processing and marketing of fisheries products in Greece where 147 small and medium sized enterprises employed 2 330 people in 2012. In particular, support for investments in new technology and processing systems, for the development of new and improved products, accessing new markets and better positioning in existing markets could help the processing sector’s economic performance and sustainability.
Having implemented the LEADER rural development programme since the early 1990s, Greece has a long tradition of bottom-up local development and fisheries CLLD has the potential to build on this experience to address some of the weaknesses in its fisheries and aquaculture sector and to build links with other sectors (science, tourism…) to diversify its activities.
A two page summary of the Operational Programme including contact details of the Managing Authority is available at the following link.
An overview of the Greek EMFF programme is available at the following link.
In the previous programming period, Greece had a total of eleven FLAGs, both in mainland coastal areas and on small and remote islands. The local development strategies developed by the FLAGs focused largely on diversification, and in particular on the following themes:
Forty-nine public projects were funded and 237 private projects. Overall, Axis 4 contributed to strengthening the competitiveness and attractiveness of these fisheries areas; diversifying fishing and supporting new economic activities; and adding value to and promoting the consumption of local fisheries products.
Community-Led Local Development under the EMMF aims to add value to the fisheries sector at local level and help increase employment and territorial cohesion in fisheries and aquaculture dependent areas.
The main challenge that CLLD will have to address in Greece’s fisheries areas in the coming years is achieving sustainable development while halting certain negative developments in the coastal areas and islands where Greece’s fishing activities are concentrated. These areas are often characterized by demographic pressure, socio-economic problems and a lack of basic infrastructure. Well targeted and integrated local development strategies are needed to build on the natural assets of many of these areas and their attractiveness as tourist destinations to foster more sustainable models of development in coastal communities.
The objectives laid down for CLLD in Greece in 2014-2020 include:
Indicative types of interventions include activities to increase the valued added of fisheries products and innovations along the fisheries and aquaculture supply chain; support for diversification such as small-scale tourism and short sea shipping; educational projects for lifelong learning; activities to enhance and capitalize on the environmental assets of fisheries areas; promoting social well-being and maritime cultural heritage in fisheries areas. The exchange of best practices through transnational and interregional networking is also foreseen among Fisheries Local Action Groups.
Compared to 2007-2013, the total budget for CLLD has been increased from 42M€ to over 70M€ and the number of FLAG strategies approved has also increased from 11 to 33 (implemented by 30 FLAGs ). Given the increased number of FLAGs, the average budget per FLAG strategy is lower than in the previous period (down from an average of 3.8M€ to just over 2M€).
The Managing Authority organised a single call for FLAGs and LEADER LAGs and candidates were invited to present an overarching strategy for the two funds, including a specific section for rural development and a specific section for the EMFF component. Of the 33 FLAG strategies selected in Greece, 31 are being implemented by multi-funded groups managing LEADER as well as fisheries CLLD. Only Kavala and Iraklion FLAGs will implement a purely EMFF funded strategy.
Cooperation is strongly encouraged in Greece and the proposal of at least one (inter-territorial or transnational) cooperation project was a compulsory element of the application process for candidate FLAGs to receive EMFF funding.
Some of the themes emerging most strongly from the Greek local development strategies include cooperation around tourism, in particular developing and promoting pesca-tourism, thematic trails (e.g. around gastronomy, archaeology) and also diving parks.
In terms of budget available for cooperation in Greece, each FLAG may dedicate the equivalent of up to 10% of their running costs and animation budget (although the money does not come out of this budget). This implies around approximately €60 000 per FLAG.
For information on cooperation click here.
|Code||Name||Region||Surface area (km²)||Population||Population density (per km²)||Employment in fisheries*|
|GR203||Kavala City FLAG||
East Macedonia and Thrace
|GR204||Thassos and Κavala prefecture FLAG||884||35784||40||328|
|GR206||East Thessaloniki FLAG||
|GR207||West Thessaloniki FLAG||
|GR210||Ipeirios - Ioannina FLAG||
|GR211||Ionian Islands FLAG||137||16010||117||179|
|GR212||South Ipeiros Amvrakikoy FLAG||
|GR219||Attiki island FLAG||879||74651||85||380|
|GR220||Central and North Evia FLAG||171981||90463||53||578|
|GR221||South Evia & Skyros FLAG||
|GR231||Crete Messara Gulf FLAG||
|GR232||Northern and South East Crete FLAG||