The area of the FLAG is located in Małopolska: relatively close to big cities such as Bielsko-Biała, Katowice and Kraków. It has a 700 year tradition of carp production in ponds. It also has very valuable natural assets, including various animal and plant species around the fish ponds.
However, in the last few years quickly growing unemployment, especially among young people and women, has been an important challenge. Other challenges include low incomes of the small-scale fish producers, lack of processing facilities and lack of a coherent, integrated tourism offer.
50% of the area is under Natura 2000
The FLAG intends to support activities that will significantly improve competitiveness of the fisheries sector, including direct sales of fish from the farm and development of new or existing businesses. Support for tourism and recreational as well as cultural infrastructure, especially linked with fisheries heritage, are also envisaged. The FLAG will also help to protect fish producers from poaching.
The FLAG is also using EAFRD funding under LEADER, which will finance mainly rural business development, infrastructure for the local community, and maintaining and promoting local heritage. EMFF is the Lead Fund.
Members from the public sector include the seven municipalities. The business sector is represented mainly by individual entrepreneurs, 50% of them are fish farmers, both small and large. The largest fisheries entities are the Fisheries Experimental Centre in Zator and the Fish Breeding Centre in Osiek. There are also numerous NGOs, such as local associations and several branches of the Polish Anglers’ Association.