The FLAG territory includes 52 coastal villages across five islands in the Western group of the Azores archipelago. The Azores is located on the Atlantic Ridge. Its relief is very rugged. The lines of relief run in an east-west direction, matching the fracture lines to which the islands owe their formation. Common catches in the area include large pelagic species such as tuna and swordfish, conger, crustaceans such as lobster and mollusc-fishing (mainly clams). The area has a strong historical and cultural connection to the sea. The canning industry is important to the area economically and has considerable social relevance. To some communities, the canning industry their main and only source of income. It is a labour-intensive industry that is dominated by a female workforce (83% to the area’s fisheries processing workforce).
Challenges for the region include the steady decline of its fishing industry in recent years. The local fishing workforce is also ageing and there is a need for generational renewal. Additionally, most of the FLAG’s territory is a marine protected area. As such, many fishing gears, such as bottom trawling and gillnets, are prohibited. Therefore, there is a need to sustainably diversify fisheries activities into other economic opportunities such as recreational fishing and tourism.
In the FLAG territory, there are five Marine Reserves and six Marine Protected Areas.
The main objective of the Adeliaçor FLAG’s local development strategy is increasing the quality of life of local fishermen and coastal communities from environmental, social and economic perspectives. More specific aims include taking full advantage of the region’s strengths, maximise opportunities and minimize the threats associated with generational renewal and its ageing fisheries populations.
FLAG members include eight representatives from the local municipalities, 12 private fisheries actors and six NGO’s.