The FLAG area consists of six municipalities and 11 communities. It covers the districts of Larnaca and Famagusta in the eastern part of Cyprus and represents 5.6% of the total area and 19.5% of the total coastline of the country.
Fishing is an important activity in the area, with 4.3% of its workforce employed in the primary sector, 67% of which work in fishing. The area includes 9 out of 16 of the country’s fishing shelters, 62% of Cyprus’ inshore professional fishermen and 60% of the country’s fishing fleet. Beyond the primary sector, 20.7% of the area’s active population work in the secondary sector and 73.6% in the service sector. However, limited connection between fisheries and the secondary and service sectors is a challenge.
Other challenges include growing unemployment, which is above the national average. In addition, the average age of fishermen is high and there is insufficient training for the younger generation. Excessive recreational fishing, and overfishing generally, combined with intense tourist development in areas along the coast in recent decades, have the potential to threaten fish stocks and habitats in the future.
The Larnaca Salt Lake which is one of the largest wetland systems in Cyprus and is considered the second most important wetland in the country; the protected area of Kavo Greco, a national forest park covering 385 hectares; and the marine area of Cape Greco, known for its underwater canyons and caves that are popular among locals and tourists for diving. The FLAG area is also an important station for migratory birds and is home to as many as 71 species of fauna and flora.
The main vision is "Cooperation to create self-sustaining, diversified and vibrant fisheries areas attractive to work, live and visit". The strategy has the following objectives:
An inter-territorial project with the other two Cypriot FLAGs is planned to promote fisheries products around the island; and a transnational project with Greece will continue cooperation initiated in the 2007-2014 period around the promotion of diving parks in the region.
The FLAG board (the decision-making body) consists of just five of the FLAG members, but all members are actively involved. Together with the members of the FLAG they represent 6 municipalities and 11 communities, the fishermen’s organisations, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Larnaca, and the financial institution of Larnaca and Famagusta.