The Dodecanese islands are found on the south-eastern coast of Greece. The 20 inhabited islands are strongly connected with activities linked to the sea. The local economy is mainly dependent on tourism. There is a distinct gap in development between the larger islands (Rhodes, Kos, Karpathos, Leros, Patmos, Kalimnos) and the smaller ones (Megisti, Tilos, Halki, Agathonisi, Astipalaia, Lipsi, Nisiros, Kasos, Simi) where infrastructures and services such as schools, doctors and public transport are often lacking.
The Dodecanese islands have the largest fleet of small scale fisheries in Greece. The main challenge for this FLAG is to narrow the “development gap” between the larger and the smaller islands making the Dodecanese islands an ideal place for living and working through the opportunities given by the marine environment of the islands.
There are 30 protected areas covering the 51.96% of the total area. Most of the areas include whole islands and the sea around them.
The main goal of the FLAGs’ strategy is to enhance the entrepreneurship by pointing out the unique Dodecanesean identity in the agri-food industry and the sustainable growth of the sensitive insular environment. This will be accomplished by promoting and funding SMEs for:
The scope of the strategy is to emphasise and work on the special needs of the smaller islands.
There is a strong interest for starting new enterprises in pesca-tourism, aquaculture and diving tourism all around the Dodecanese islands.
The FLAG has experience in working with SMEs in tourism and rural development. They are interested in inter-territorial or transnational cooperation projects in the areas of culture, wine tourism and pesca-tourism. Cooperation projects envisaged include: “Dive in our Islands” (a diving initiative www.diveinourislands.com) and the “Initiative of Fishermen for Environmental Conservation” (this cooperation project aims to support fishermen to remove marine litter in cooperation with the municipalities).
The prefecture of the south Aegean, the association of municipalities as well as the municipalities themselves, the chambers of commerce and industry and the geotechnical chamber, a social NGO and the union of agricultural associations.
Although no fisheries actors are formal members of the association, a local fisheries organisation sits on the project selection board of the FLAG.