Fisheries Areas Network

Country Factsheet

Portugal - 15 FLAGs - 38.5 M€

Portugal has 15 FLAGs, 12 of them in coastal areas of continental Portugal and three on the Azores archipelago, situated in the Atlantic Ocean. The main challenges that CLLD addresses in Portugal’s fisheries areas are low educational level of fishermen; decreased attractiveness of fisheries for young people, mainly due to low income and limited alternative employment opportunities in fisheries communities; declining competitiveness of the fishing industry; conflicting demands in the coastal areas; global warming and resource depletion. 

CLLD Programme

CLLD Context: 

Portugal has a total area of 92 090 km2 and is geographically located on the west coast of Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. It boarders Spain on the north and east, and the Atlantic Ocean for 942 km on the south and west. In addition to the continental territory, Portugal has two archipelagos - the Azores and Madeira, situated in the Atlantic Ocean.

In 2013, employment in fisheries comprised about 17 875 jobs, corresponding to 9 307 full-time equivalents (FTEs) in the catching sector, 6 823 jobs or 6 308 FTEs in the fish processing industry and 2 572 workers, or 2 083 FTEs in aquaculture. Maritime activities generated a direct contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 2% in 2010 rising to about 3% in 2014.

A two page summary of the Operational Programme including contact details of the Managing Authority is available at the following link.

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 Axis 4 (EFF), Portugal had seven coastal FLAGs, covering around 70% of the coastal area of the mainland: Litoral Norte; Região de Aveiro; Mondego Mar; Oeste; AlémTejo; Barlavento do Algarve; Sotavento do Algarve. The main achievements of Axis 4 were the following:

  • Reinforcement of the competitiveness of fishing communities (e.g. the creation of new seafood products, valorisation of the catch in the first sale, diversification of economic activities)
  • The creation of new business opportunities and jobs
  • Improvement of the image of the small-scale fishing sector and the infrastructure in fisheries areas.
CLLD objectives and challenges for 2014-2020: 

The main challenges that community-led local development will have to address in Portugal’s fisheries areas in the coming years are:

  • Low educational level of fishermen;
  • Low attractiveness of fisheries for young people, mainly due to low income and limited alternative employment opportunities in fisheries communities;
  • Declining competitiveness of the fishing industry;
  • Conflicting demands in the coastal areas;
  • Global warming and resource depletion.

To cope with these challenges, the objectives for CLLD in Portugal for 2014-2020 are:

  • To further enhance the competitiveness of the fisheries sector (e.g. by strengthening local economies, by promoting short supply circuits, high quality local seafood products and local seafood markets);
  • To promote innovation in fisheries areas;
  • To improve educational and professional qualification related to the sea and fisheries;
  • To promote the preservation, conservation and recovery of natural resources and landscapes (e.g. by promoting maritime plans)

In the 2014-2020 programming period, CLLD covers almost the entire coastal area of mainland Portugal (over 95%) and includes all fisheries communities along the coast, in coastal lagoons and in estuaries. This is an important change compared to the previous period, where only around 70% of the coastal areas was covered. There will be FLAGs on the Azores archipelago, the selection process is still ongoing. The total CLLD budget has been increased from €21.5 million to €41,2 million, and due to the increasing number of FLAGs from 7 to 15 (including 3 FLAGs in the Azores), the average FLAG budget is expected to be between €2,75 million and €3.43 million (compared to €3,07 million in 2007-2013).

Multi-fund CLLD in Portugal

Portugal is implementing a multi-fund approach for Fisheries CLLD on the mainland. Apart from the EMFF (€35 million), all FLAGs have available funding from ESF (€7.8 million) and ERDF (€6.5 million). There is no formal integration with rural or urban LAGs, who implement their own multi-funded strategies (EAFRD/ESRDF/ESF and ERDF/ESF) respectively.

The FLAGs on the Azores implement strategies that are only funded by the EMFF.

CLLD Budget

Total budget: 
€38 482 431
  • EMFF budget for CLLD: 
    €32 710 066
  • Co-funding: 
    €5 772 365
  • Proportion of CLLD in EMFF budget: 
Number of FLAGs: 
Average budget per FLAG: 
€2 565 495

National Network

During the 2007-2013 period an informal National Network operated without a specific budget, and chaired by a different FLAG every four months. Members were the Managing Authorities, all FLAGs, and all Regional General-Directorates for Agriculture and Fisheries. Other entities were invited to participate in the meetings whenever necessary.

As for the 2014-2020 period, the Managing Authority will support an informal National Network in the same way as before by financing specific activities of the network from Technical Assistance (starting at the end of 2016), along with hiring external experts on ad hoc basis.

The tasks of the NN will be:

  • Providing information, disseminating best practices, facilitating the exchange of experience and skills between FLAGs;
  • Training for FLAGs;
  • Increasing the visibility of FLAGs;
  • Promoting cooperation.

Click here for the National Network contact details.

Delivery of CLLD

Key actors and roles: 

FLAGs in Portugal mainland cover almost all coastal municipalities located in the west and south.

The funding application process: 

The Ministry for the Sea is responsible for selecting the FLAGs in Mainland Portugal. The call for FLAGs has been launched in mid-November 2014, the final approval of the FLAGs took place by end August 2015 and the strategies were approved by end November 2015. The FLAGs on the Azores were selected in December 2017.


Code Name Region Surface area (km²) Population Population density (per km²) Employment in fisheries*
PT201 Litoral Norte FLAG 239 98960 414 481
PT202 Area Metropolitana do Porto - AMP FLAG 114 180726 1584 2402
PT203 Região de Aveiro FLAG
635 188011 296 2900
PT204 Mondego Mar FLAG 512 71068 139 6440
PT206 Oeste FLAG
966 73107 169 1482
PT207 ecoMAR FLAG 154 37894 246 50
PT208 Ericeira/Cascais FLAG
95 80860 853 110
864 195457 226 1626
PT210 Litoral Alentejo FLAG 1387 61045 44 325
PT211 Barlavento do Algarve FLAG 872 154832 178 780
PT212 Sotavento do Algarve FLAG 1492 181277 121 4810
PT214 Graciosa and Terceira
404 50150 124 464
PT215 Adeliacor FLAG
1025 44371 44 1110
PT205 AdaeMar FLAG
359 38993 109 14
(*)according to the information received from the FLAG


Publication date: 
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