The FLAG area includes the parishes of Marinha Grande and Vieira de Leiria in the municipality of Marinha Grande and the parish of Coimbrão in the municipality of Leiria. The fishing communities here include Vieira de Leiria, Pedrógão and São Pedro de Moel.
There are 28 companies working in the field of fisheries and aquaculture based in the area and the number of people they employ is growing steadily.
Furthermore, artisanal fisheries have an important role here in terms of tourism in the areas around the beaches, especially in the high season during the summer months.
Challenges in the area include an ageing population in the fisheries sector and the fact that, despite steady growth in aquaculture, turnover in this sector is unstable with a 50% decrease from 2010 to 2012 in the municipality of Leiria alone.
Protected areas include the Ervideira lagoon, Coimbrão, Biotopo Corine and the dunes of Vieira de Leiria. Pedrogão and S. Pedro de Moel is classed as a place of scientific interest.
The strategy aims to strengthen initiatives that improve the competitiveness of fishing, encourage short supply circuits and promote local markets.
It also plans to boost the economy linked to the sea by stimulating innovative entrepreneurship connected to the sea economy and supporting small business.
Under the heading of social inclusion, the FLAG seeks to promote equal opportunities initiatives, reduce school dropout rates and promote equal access to education and training.
It also aims to conserve and protect the local natural, cultural and built heritage and promote and develop fishing-related heritage.
Project ideas under development include:
The FLAG was involved in the implementation of the “PROVE” project that seeks to promote cooperation between the Portuguese and PALOP (Portuguese-speaking African countries) associations of Europe. This project intends to create new cooperation projects with the theme of the fisheries sector and endogenous products.
Types of cooperation projects foreseen in future include an ethnographic exhibition coordinated amongst several Portuguese FLAGs and interregional competitions of business ideas related to fishing.
The FLAG membership includes local municipalities and the association of municipalities, a local institute of higher education, the Portuguese tourist board, the local business association and the Flor da Praia Azul fishing company.