Lithuania has a relatively short coastline of sandy beaches on the Baltic Sea. Lithuania’s fisheries areas have low employment levels in many communities engaged in commercial fisheries and aquaculture. Local fisheries products face tough competition from abroad. The economy of certain fisheries communities needs to diversify, while taking advantage of the natural and cultural heritage. Tackling these issues is at the core of the 12 Lithuanian FLAGs’ strategies.
The country has a relatively short coastline of sandy Baltic beaches with strings of dunes (90.6 km). This increases to 262 km when taking into account the Curonian Lagoon’s coastline. The Port of Klaipeda is the only multipurpose, deep-water port in Lithuania. Fishing vessels also use small ports like Nida and Šventoji. Lithuania has significant inland waters covering 2,625 km² or 4% of its territory. This includes over 3 000 large and small lakes and a dense network of rivers and streams.
The Lithuanian fisheries sector has been operating in an open market economy dictated by fierce competition in the past years, exacerbated by the economic crisis and its consequences. The total value of the fisheries sector is less than 1% of the country’s GDP. Sea-related activities account for 2.6% of GDP: shipping, coastal tourism and ship-building are the most important sectors of the maritime economy.
However, fisheries have a long tradition and play an important role in small communities in coastal and inland areas. According to 2015 data, the Lithuanian fisheries sector provides employment to 6,454 people (marine fishing activities – 685; aquaculture – 485; and fish processing – 5,284 people). About 81% of the employees working in fisheries sector are employed in the fish processing industry, most of them (67%) women.
Contact details of the managing authority can be found here.
More information about national EMFF programmes can be found here.
During the 2007-2013 period, Lithuania had 10 FLAGs, covering a territory of 20 Lithuanian municipalities, both coastal and inland.
Axis 4 projects covered the following themes:
The main challenges that community-led local development will have to address in Lithuania’s fisheries areas in the coming years are:
To cope with these challenges, the objectives for CLLD in Lithuania for 2014-2020 are:
For 2014-2020, Lithuania will have three joint LAG/FLAGs and nine self-standing FLAGs, covering 20 municipalities with 23,515 km2. Compared to 2007-2013, the total budget for CLLD has been increased (from €8,925M to €12,230M), so the average budget per FLAG is slightly higher – just over €1M (up from €0.89M).
CLLD in Lithuania will be implemented in agricultural, fisheries and urban territories (with the EAFRD, EMFF, ESF, and ERDF). The Ministry of Agriculture is responsible for implementing CLLD in rural areas (LEADER) and in fisheries areas. CLLD in urban areas is managed by the Ministry of the Interior.
An integrated approach in the three joint LAG/FLAGs is secured by the development of one joint strategy in each group. The EAFRD acts as the lead fund, for simplification purposes.
Synergies between all ESI Funds will be fostered by:
A National FLAG Network (NN) was set up in June 2010, during the EFF programme. In its first years of implementation it was an informal network, supported by member fees paid by the FLAGs.
Under the Lithuanian Fisheries Operational Program 2014-2020, up to 5% of the total technical assistance budget will be allocated to the activities of the FLAG network, implying a budget of approximately €233 000 for the whole 2014-2020 period.
The NN’s responsibilities are:
Information on networks involved in CLLD in Lithuania can be found on:
Click here for the National Network contact details.
For the EMFF funding period, one cooperation project was implemented in Lithuania to animate traditional fishing festivals in different regions of the country. The project brought together different stakeholders from the fisheries sector to exchange knowledge and share and their fishing techniques and culinary traditions with their respective communities.
For information on how cooperation was programmed and organised in Lithuania, click here.
In order to be eligible for fisheries CLLD in Lithuania, areas must have a coastline or cover the banks of a river or lake. The population of the areas must be between 10,000 - 150,000 people (exemptions have been made for the city of Klaipeda and Neringa municipalities) and at least 40 people must be employed in fisheries, aquaculture or fish processing or the area’s commercial fishing catch must be at least 100,000 kg per year. For joint LAG/FLAGs, the population criteria are the same, while the figures for the economic criteria are reduced to 15 employees or 10,000 kg of commercial fish landed.
In total ten FLAGs and three LAG/FLAGs will be implementing fisheries CLLD.