The FLAG covers five municipalities surrounding from the north-west the city of Bielsko-Biała. The area is characterised by many small farms, some of them carrying out carp production in cascade ponds. Two species of fish from the area (Bestwin Carp and Mountain Trout) have been recognised as traditional products by the Ministry of Agriculture. An interesting tourist attraction is the Carp Trail, created by several FLAGs from southern Poland in 2007-2013.
One of the key challenges the area is facing is the loss of jobs, both in the fish production sector and in other sectors, mainly in the fuel and metal industries, where, as a result of new technologies, machines are replacing human labour.
During the preparation of the local strategy, the inhabitants pointed out the weak capacity of fishing businesses to compete on the market and the many under-used opportunities to develop business activities complementary to fishing, in particular tourism and water-based activities. Low levels of social activity are also seen as a challenge.
Landscape Park of the Silesian Beskid Mountains, 3 natural reserves and 2 areas of protected landscape (fish ponds which are the only nesting place of the night heron in Poland).
level of social activity. It also envisages support to activities to better utilise the water potential of the area. Special attention will be paid to supporting activities targeting young people (under 35), the elderly (over 55) and fishermen.
There is no multi-funding at present, but the FLAG will apply for other sources of funding for specific projects.
The FLAG is financed only by the EMFF, but it cooperates with the LEADER LAG active in its area (Ziemia Bielska). The FLAG and the LAG coordinate their strategies and participate in each other’s activities.
The FLAG is a member of the National Rural Network and the FLAG Network of Southern Poland, it cooperates with other FLAGs and participates in joint projects.
Among the FLAG members there are many businesses, such as the fish-processing plants in Czechowice-Dziedzice and Jasienica, an experimental station of the Research Institute for Animal Husbandry in Grodziec Śląski which produces carp stock, as well as numerous fishermen and fish production cooperatives. The public sector is represented by the five municipalities. The NGO sector includes many local associations and foundations such as the Association of Parents of Handicapped Children, Kaniowski Carp Association and several branches of the Polish Anglers’ Association.