The FLAG territory includes 45km of the Black Sea coast in Varna Province, equating to approximately 13% of the Bulgarian Black Sea coastline. The leading industries in the area are tourism and agriculture. Fisheries in the region are small-scale and important in the local population – roughly 5% of the economically active population are engaged in fisheries. There are 71 fishing vessels registered in the area, which is also home to one of the few fishing ports in Bulgaria.
Challenges for the FLAG area include poor working conditions for fishermen and the need for the modernisation of equipment and infrastructure. As such, the regions fisheries struggle to be competitive which is a challenge, as is the need for the diversification of fisheries products and adding value.
The FLAG’s territory partially includes nine protected areas under the Natura 2000 Network (five under the Natura 2000 Habitats Directive and four under the Birds Directive. Protected areas include the Kamchia, Kirov Dol and Valchi Transit nature reserves, and the Longoza flooded forest.
The FLAG strategy is focused on the following key themes:
The FLAG will make an annual call for projects with a fixed deadline. Calls will be published on the FLAG website.
The FLAG has 27 members: three from the public sector (the municipalities of Byala, Dolni Chiflik and Avren), 12 representatives from the business sector (three fishing companies and nine independent fishermen with licenses for commercial fishing), 12 representatives from the civil sector (four of which are NGO’s (including three fishermen associations).