Latvia’s fisheries areas are suffering from low productivity and income of coastal fishermen; low population density, limiting opportunities for business and employment on the coast; and climate change’s impact on coastal areas. In order to increase employment and territorial cohesion in fisheries-dependent areas through CLLD, the six Latvian FLAGs aim to add value and promote innovation at all stages of the fisheries and aquaculture products supply chain; to support diversification; enhance and capitalize on environmental assets, including activities to mitigate climate change; and promote fisheries or maritime cultural heritage.
Maritime employment accounts for 5.36% of national employment and maritime activities, mainly shipping, represent 7.71% of national GDP – fisheries account for less than 1% of this.
Around 6 000 people are employed in coastal and marine recreation and tourism in Latvia and, according to 2014 data, 6 554 people in the fisheries sector. Indeed, with 0.7% of the country´s active population employed in the fisheries sector, Latvia has a relatively high employment dependency on fisheries..
Contact details of the managing authority can be found here.
More information about national EMFF programmes can be found here.
During Axis 4 (EFF), Latvia had 24 FLAGs in total, all combined with LEADER LAGs (8 coastal FLAGs along the Baltic Sea and 16 inland FLAGs).
The main achievements of Axis 4 were the following:
The main challenges that community-led local development will have to address in Latvia’s fisheries areas in the coming years are:
In order to increase employment and territorial cohesion in fisheries-dependent areas, FLAGs will build their strategies focusing on (one or more of) the following themes:
In the 2014-2020 programming period, CLLD is being applied exclusively in the coastal regions of the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Riga, where the majority of the fisheries activities take place (6% of Latvia’s total territory). This is a change compared to the previous period, when the inland territory of the country was also included in the fisheries areas (covering 49.5% of Latvia’s total territory). The total CLLD budget has increased from €14.7 million to €15 million, and taking into account the reduction of number of FLAGs from 24 to 6, the average FLAG budget increased considerably, from €0.6 million to €2.5 million.
In 2007-2013, all 24 FLAGs were also implementing local development strategies under the LEADER Axis of the Rural Development Programme. Groups applying for funds from the EFF and also from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) had separate decision-making bodies for each fund as well as separate project evaluation committees.
The multi-fund approach continues to take place in the coastal areas of the Baltic Sea, where FLAGs are also operating as LAGs, working with both the EMFF and EAFRD.
The National Fisheries Network (www.zivjutikls.lv) was created in the previous period and has continued in the 2014-2020 period, providing information, training and other kinds of support to the various EMFF stakeholders, including the FLAGs. It works in a similar way to the National Rural Network (www.laukutiksl.lv).
Total budget and workforce: €2.5 million for the period; 1.2 FTE staff employed, along with several experts on an ad hoc basis.
Management: run by the Latvian Rural Advisory and Information Centre, which also manages the National Rural Network.
For CLLD in particular, informal networking between LAGs and FLAGs occurs on the Latvian Rural Forum www.laukuforums.lv.
Click hereNational Network contact details.
For the EMFF funding period, 11 cooperation projects were reported by the managing authority by December 2021. These projects addressed several topics including the development of a seaweed assessment and management plan for the Latvian coast (bringing together all the six Latvian FLAGs) as well as a training project on coastal fishing for young people.
For information on how cooperation was programmed and organised in Latvia, click here.
|Code||Name||Region||Surface area (km²)||Population||Population density (per km²)||Employment in fisheries*|
|LV202||North Kurzeme FLAG||
|LV204||Laukiem Jūrai FLAG||