The FLAG area is situated in the southeast of Sicily and encompasses the provinces of Siracusa and Ragusa. The region has a strong agriculture and tourism sectors and a historical seafaring culture. Today, the fisheries of the area are characterised by small and medium enterprises which predominantly use artisanal methods.
68% of fisheries belong to the FLAG territory’s artisan coastal fishing fleet and uses traditional tools. The main target species of trawlers are pink and red shrimp, hake, mullet and mud mullet, octopus, cuttlefish, squid, saurian, stingrays and monkfish. The purse seine vessels mainly capture sardines, anchovies and mackerel. Vessels with the ‘longline’ fishing system, mainly catch swordfish but seasonally they focus on smaller pelagic species.
Protecting what is a relatively unspoilt natural landscape is a challenge to both the area and the FLAG. Tourism is important to the region’s economy as it creates jobs and diversifies traditional fishing activities. However, developing and growing the sector in a sustainable way that protects the area’s natural environment is a challenge and requires an innovative strategy.
The FLAG’s territory includes several protected Natura 2000 protected areas, both Sites of Community Importance (SCI) and Special Protected Areas (SPA). Among the most important are the seabed and the mouth of the Irminio river, the Contrada Regilione, the Maganuco beach, the Isola dei Porri, the Pantani of south-eastern Sicily and Capo Passero Island. The territory also includes the Irmirio Organic Forest Park and Isola dei Porri nature reserves.
The FLAG’s local development strategy aims to create jobs, promote innovation throughout the fisheries supply chain, and improve and exploit the environmental heritage of the area including interventions aimed at mitigating climate change. The strategy focuses on two main thematic areas:
Regional and national
Project ideas for the FLAG include:
The FLAG makes regular calls for projects which will be published on the FLAG website:
The FLAG has experience in transnational cooperation projects in the Mediterranean area. The FLAG is interested in further cooperation projects with other Mediterranean FLAGs on the following themes:
The partnership is well represented by the main stakeholders of the FLAG territory. In addition to the institutional partners such as the municipalities, the Free Municipal Consortium of Syracuse, higher education institutes, research centres and universities, there are the main trade associations and bodies in the fishing industry, cultural and environmental associations, companies operating in the processing and marketing of fish and aquaculture products.