Spain is home to the biggest fishing industry in Europe and has a long tradition of maritime activities such as fishing and aquaculture, but also fish processing, tourism and marine sports. In Spain, the implementation of CLLD is organised at regional level, while the national managing authority is ultimately responsible for the programme and plays a coordinating and reporting role. The main challenges facing Spain’s fisheries areas are high unemployment; aging populations in fisheries areas and in the sector; reconciling the presence of other, growing economic sectors (e.g. tourism) with fisheries; and pressure of economic activities on the coastal environment. These challenges are the focus of the 41 Spanish FLAGs’ strategies.
Given Spain´s political structure, the implementation of CLLD is organised at regional level, while the national managing authority is ultimately responsible for the programme and plays a coordinating and reporting role.
The country has some 200 fishing ports and boasts a diverse sector with 60 different vessel segments, ranging from small-scale coastal fishing to large-scale and long-distance fishing. It is ranked as the first producer in EU27 for fishing and aquaculture, and the seafood processing industry competes on the international market.
The overall employment of these activities represents more than 70 000 employees (in full-time equivalents), split into fishing (over 33 000 FTE), aquaculture (over 19 000 FTE) and processing (over 18 000 FTE). Given the links between these sectors and others, such as energy, transport, tourism, and research, the marine sector has a very strong socio-economic importance in Spanish society.
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.
During the EFF period, FLAG strategies focused on supporting sustainable and viable local economies in fisheries communities: creating employment and economic diversification; improving the environmental quality of the coast; and enhancing regional, interregional and transnational cooperation. As such, projects tended to focus on:
Many of Spain’s coastal areas traditionally dependent on fishing have undergone a process of structural change to the economy as well as social and environmental changes. Low population density is a challenge in some areas, while others are under heavy pressure from urbanisation and the growing tourist economy. A lack of enterprise capacity at local level makes it hard for many communities to adapt as artisanal fisheries start to lose their traditional importance in terms of providing work. As such, the main challenges that community-led local development will have to address in Spain’s fisheries areas in the coming years are:
To cope with these challenges, the objectives for CLLD in Spain 2014-2020 are:
Since the 2007-2013 period, the total budget for CLLD in Spain has been increased from €77.7M to €125.7M. The number of FLAGs has also increased from 31 to 41, present in all 10 coastal regions, of which six were already implementing Axis 4 under the EFF (Galicia, Andalusia, Asturias, Catalonia, Cantabria and the Canary Islands) and four set up FLAGs for the first time in the 2014-2020 period (Murcia, the Basque Country, Valencia and the Balearic Islands).
This implies an average budget of around €3M per FLAG, however budgets range from under €500 000 in some the Canary FLAGs to around €10M for certain Galician FLAGs.
The Spanish FLAG Network (Red Española de Grupos de Pesca), officially launched in the previous period (March 2010) was reinforced for the 2014-2020 period and has currently an annual budget of approximately €200 000 and two full-time persons coordinating support activities for the FLAGs. The network has been set up under the leadership of the Managing Authority and is in regular touch with the regional intermediary bodies and the FLAGs.
It collects and disseminates information on its website and via its newsletter, including good practice examples and interviews with those involved in implementing CLLD. It also organizes technical meetings to facilitate sharing of experiences among FLAGs and regional authorities and has recently enabled an online forum to post questions and answers that are relevant to all IBs and FLAGs in the country
In some regions (e.g. Galicia and Andalusia), FLAGs are also supported by regional support networks – to improve implementation, share experience and foster cooperation – including with Leader LAGs in regions such as Asturias.
Click hereNational Network contact details.
The Spanish coastal areas are extremely diverse, ranging geographically from areas on the northwest Atlantic coast of Galicia, to areas in the Bay of Biscay and others on the eastern Mediterranean coasts of the country. Many have rich flora and fauna and cover different types of protected areas, including marine protected areas, while other areas are grappling with intense pressure from urbanization.
Calls for FLAGs were launched in the different regions between 2016 and 2017 and 41 were selected: 8 in Galicia, 7 in Asturias, 2 in Cantabria, 1 in the Basque Country, 2 in Catalonia, 4 in Valencia, 2 in the Balearic Islands, 1 in Murcia, 7 in Andalusia and 7 in the Canary Islands.
For the EMFF funding period, 26 cooperation projects were reported by the managing authority by December 2021. Many involved regional cooperation projects, for example on marine tourism between Galician FLAGs or setting up a network of seafaring women in Catalonia. Others spanned more than one region or involved FLAGs from other countries.
For information on how cooperation was programmed and organised in Spain, click here.
|Code||Nom||Région||Surface area (km²)||Population||Population density (per km²)||Employment in fisheries*|
|ES201||Vigo – A Guarda FLAG||
|ES204||Costa Sostible FLAG||
|ES205||Costa da Morte FLAG||
|ES206||Southern Artabro Gulf FLAG||338||143749||426||1966|
|ES207||Northern Artabro Gulf FLAG||364||89978||247||700|
|ES212||Bajo Nalón FLAG||44||6075||140||25|
|ES213||Cabo Peñas FLAG||148||21335||144||107|
|ES214||La Sidra FLAG||374||18389||49||90|
|ES215||Eastern Asturias FLAG||
|ES216||Western Cantabria FLAG||
|ES217||Eastern Cantabria FLAG||130||62763||483||2229|
|ES219||Costa Brava FLAG||
|ES221||La Plana FLAG||
|ES222||La Marina FLAG||
|ES223||La Safor FLAG||102||122522||1202||1084|
|ES224||Santa Pola FLAG||
|ES228||Almeria Coast FLAG||1489||285456||192|
|ES229||Western Almeria FLAG||
|ES230||Granada Coast FLAG||
|ES232||Cadiz Estrecho FLAG||
|ES233||Noroeste de Cádiz FLAG||
|ES237||Gran Canaria FLAG||882||232000||263|
|ES239||La Gomera FLAG||370||20976||57|
|ES240||La Palma FLAG||708||82346||116|
|ES241||El Hierro FLAG||269||10587||39|