The coastline of the Alto Salento FLAG area covers 104km of coastline and is situated in Puglia. (28km in the territory of Ostuni, 21km in the territory of Carovigno and 55km in the territory of Brindisi). Industry in the region was historically dominated by agriculture. In recent years tourism has grown due, in large, to the natural beauty of the territory and the development of numerous events and festivals making Salento a more sought-after tourist destination both nationally and internationally.
Fisheries in the area are typically small-scale and artisanal in nature and fishing fleets is predominantly based in Brindisi. However, these small vessels only account for 1% of catches in the FLAG territory due to the presence of large trawlers from other areas. As for aquaculture activities, there are two companies operating in the area but only one of them is dedicated to all stages of the production process, from breeding and spawning through to marketing of the final product.
Challenges for the FLAG area include the conservation of the rural and coastal landscape of Salento which is under threat due to commercial developments and tourism. While tourism is important to the area, a key challenge is developing the sector slowly and sustainably, protecting the local environment.
There are several protected areas in the FLAG area including marine protected areas, natural reserves and sites of community importance (SIC). These include the Torre Guaceto national park, the coastal dunes from Torre Canne to Torre San Leonardo and the follwing SCI’s Bosco Tramazzone, Foce Canale Giancola, Litorale Brindisino, Stagni e saline di Punta della Contessa, Torre Guaceto e Macchia San Giovanni and Stagni e saline di Punta della Contessa.
The FLAG strategy aims to promote and involve the different local sectors, combining the enhancement of cultural, environmental and landscape resources with the transversal and integrated territorial socio-economic development (agro-food, artisanal, trade and fishing).
It is intended to stimulate a new business system willing to create innovative and intersectoral networks, able to generate local development models connected with the conservation of the rural and coastal landscape of Salento. The strategy foresees a thematic concentration around the “care and protection of the rural and coastal landscape for the support of a slow and conscious tourism.”
Regional and national
Project examples and ideas for the FLAG include:
The FLAG makes regular calls for projects which will be published on the FLAG website
The FLAG is interested in the transfer of good practices and cooperation projects related to sustainable fishing, aquaculture, the diversification of fisheries activities, the promotion of small-scale fisheries products and the monitoring of alien species in the Mediterranean. The FLAG is willing to cooperate on a national and international level.
The Alto Salento FLAG is also a LEADER LAG, multi-funded by both the EAFRD and EMFF. The two organisations share a legal structure, board members and cooperate on a formal basis. The FLAG cooperates on joint projects with the Ponte Lama LAG and South East Bari LAG.
FLAG members include the three municipalities (Brindisi, Carovigno, Ostuni), a voluntary consortium between municipalities of Alto Salento, Legacoop Puglia and Confsal, the trade union ‘Commercio Artigianato,’ the general association of Italian cooperatives and a fisherman’s association.