Due to its extensive history and unique natural environment, this FLAG area which covers the southwest part of Heraklion Prefecture, (Messara Gulf), is rich with cultural and natural assets. The small-scale fishing activity is limited to demersal and small pelagic fish species which are promoted on local fish markets. Agriculture is also an important activity in the area.The main challenges are: fighting growing unemployment and boosting local incomes through activities that optimise the natural characteristics of the area.
39.14% (152.31km2) of the FLAG area is covered by four Natura 2000 sites. Additionally, the area includes two wildlife refuges, one natural monument, two landscapes of particular natural beauty and five natural and artificial wet lands
The FLAG strategy aims to strengthen the competitiveness of the fisheries and coastal economy through the promotion of fish and fishery products, the development of additional activities for fishermen and the improvement of infrastructure related to fisheries.
Additionally, it aims at the diversification of the local economy through new entrepreneurial activities, mainly in the field of alternative and marine tourism, as well as at the raising of awareness about sustainable environmental management.
Project ideas include:
The FLAG has experience in the implementation of projects on agri-food, alternative forms of tourism (e.g. gastronomy tourism) and culture in island areas. It is interested in transnational cooperation projects with the countries of the Mediterranean area in the areas of marine and coastal tourism.
An inter-territorial project on pesca-tourism as well as a transnational project on marine tourism are envisaged.
Budget envisaged for cooperation:
The final amount has not been decided yet. It is estimated that about 3.5% of the total public budget will be allocated to cooperation projects.
The FLAG membership includes the municipalities of Archanes – Asterousia, Heraklion, Minoa – Pediada, Malevizi, Chersonissos, Gortyna, Festos. Viannos and the union of Heraklion municipalities as well as the region of Crete. The agricultural associations in the membership include the Heraklion union, the agricultural cooperative of Profitis Ilias, the agricultural cooperative of Ano Asites, the agricultural cooperative of Kato Asites, the union of Peza agricultural cooperatives and the agricultural cooperative of Archanes. The Heraklion chamber of commerce and industry and the Pancreta cooperative bank are also members. Social actors in the membership include the women’s agricultural cooperative of Kroussona and the women’s cooperative of Archanes.