The Attica Islands are to be found to the south of Athens in the Saronic Gulf. Here we can find fish farms, fish processing units and small-scale fishing enterprises. In recent years, sailing and pesca-tourism have become more important due to the growth of tourism. This is a sector that is generally strong here due the area’s easy access to the capital city.
The specific challenges confronting the area are the ageing population, youth unemployment, the need to upgrade infrastructure in the harbours and the need to preserve the local marine environment.
The area includes protection areas such as Natura 2000 sites, Birds Directive Sites and Corine areas. Together they take up about 76,95 km2, representing 8,75% of the total land area of the FLAG. Both land and marine protected areas, amount to 15,68% of the total area.
The FLAG strategy aims to encourage innovative approaches to create growth and jobs, in particular by adding value to fisheries products and diversifying the local economy towards new economic activities, including those offered by ‘blue growth’ and the broader maritime sectors. The sustainable development of the fisheries and aquaculture sector should contribute at local level to promoting social inclusion and poverty reduction, creating jobs and fostering innovation.
The strategy aims to help fishermen who wish to diversify their business and introduce innovative methods through professional guidance as well as businesses in the tourism industry, projects for associations and municipalities that promote the improvement of quality of life for residents of fishing areas. Other aims include promoting youth and female entrepreneurship and the reduction of unemployment.
Project ideas include a series of entrepreneurship workshops based on aquaculture, the establishment and modernisation of micro and small enterprises to diversify activities and supplement their income (fishing tourism, restaurants, etc.).
This is a new FLAG and, as such, has no direct experience of cooperation. Cooperation ideas include working with areas with significant port infrastructure to share ideas on best practice in this area. Another idea envisaged involves mapping and prioritisation of risks faced by Greek marine areas, related to fisheries and coastal areas.
The membership includes the local municipalities, a fisheries association, a social cooperative entrepreneurship, a commercial and industrial association, agricultural associations, the local tourism association, the cultural association, an environmental NGO and the island chambers network of the European Union.
Although no fisheries actors are formal members of the association, a local fisheries organisation sits on the project selection board of the FLAG.