Ostrobothnia is narrow coastal area which forms part of the Kvarken archipelago. This archipelago of rocks and boulder clay was formed during the last ice-age, about 10 000 years ago and is subject to isostatic uplift of about 1 cm per year or 1 m per century. This has led to the creation of many islands, inlets and lakes and made the archipelago famous for its geological formations. It has been granted UNESCO Natural World Heritage status in 2006. Most of the land area of the FLAG is covered by low forest.
The local economy is characterised by primary sector production as well as universities and high tech industry such as in the energy sector. The area is also one of the most important fisheries regions in Finland.
The main challenge in fisheries is to maintain a viable industry and attract young people to continue in the business. The FLAG also wants to preserve the rich cultural traditions within the sector.
Natura 2000 (187 000 ha)
The FLAG’s idea is founded on the conviction that there is hope for the future within fisheries and that this hope can be channelled through commitment towards local society and business.
The FLAG purpose is to support an approach where fisheries are part of a sustainable development of the whole area. New knowledge and diversification are intended to help stakeholders to create profitable businesses and promote a healthy and vibrant coastal society. The Ostrobothnia LAG-FLAG promotes a responsible and sustainable development within all areas of fisheries and related themes through:
1. Maritime innovations – strengthened competence and innovation platform
2. The sea connects – higher social capital and sustainability
3. Blue bio economy – a versatile business structure
4. The coast as a resource –lively coastal societies and interaction
5. Ostrobothnia and the Baltic Sea on a stable ground – international strategy
6. Administration and activation
National and local (municipalities)
Sustainable aquaculture - fish farming
The purpose of the project is to spread knowledge of new farming technologies, start new businesses and create job opportunities in the sector. A clear ambition of the project is to work on the ecological footprint of the industry.
Storgrynnan – Nämpnäs fish harbour
The aim of the project is to propose activities in the Nämpnäs fishing harbour focusing on environmental “low impact” activities as a good practice for other harbours, improving the fishing industry and the infrastructure of the area (use pf wind power) and create new opportunities. A participatory approach is foreseen to include professional fishermen.
Management Plan fish perch and pike
The aim of the project is to design management plans (catch and preservation) for perch and pike in Ostrobothnia together with fishermen and fisheries associations
The FLAG has a continuous process with no specific deadlines. The board meets six times a year to select/approve projects.
Building on the experience of the 2007-2013 period, the FLAG aim is to cooperate with different organisations, from research centres to entrepreneurs and from local to international stakeholders.
In education, a project carried out with Agrifood Research Finland (MTT), one of the biggest research centres on agriculture in Scandinavia, on teaching children about fish and fisheries as well as sustainable development lead to the development of material for teacher education in the whole Finland.
In the biofuel sector, the FLAG cooperated with Novia (university of applied science, FIN), Österbottens Fiskarförbund (Ostrobothnian Fisheries Association, FIN), IFHVP (Institut Français des Huiles Végétales Pures, France), and the French FLAG Côte Basque – Sud Landes.
There is no specific budget for cooperation: all activities are carried out as part of the selected projects.
Larsmo municipality, Ostrobothnian Fisheries Association, ProAgria (agricultural advisory association), Luke (environment research institute), local fishermen and entrepreneurs