The FLAG territory is located in western Bulgaria close to Sofia. The area’s landscape is mixed and includes mountainous highlands, several rivers, and many natural water resources which are in good ecological condition and one of the main assets of local fisheries.
Good environmental conditions make the area suitable for aquaculture which is a traditional family practice in the region. More recently, several fisheries processing activities have also been established. Outside of fisheries, skiing and related tourism is growing in the area around the resort of Borovets.
Challenges include the regions mountainous terrain and high elevation which limits opportunities and makes it difficult businesses to diversify. There is also an inadequate infrastructure for the area’s reservoirs, insufficient capacity for aquaculture processing, and an underdeveloped fisheries distribution network.
Most of the FLAG’s territory sits within protected areas under the NATURA 2000 Network including six areas listed under the Habitats Directive and two listed under the Birds Directive.
The FLAG strategy focuses on the sustainable development of the area’s inland fisheries. Through the creation effective partnership between the public, private and civil sectors, and the integration of the entire fishing community. The main objectives of the strategy include:
Potential project ideas include:
Calls are made on an ongoing basis. The FLAG publishes calls for project proposals in a regional daily newspaper, on the website of Samokov Municipality and its information message board, and on the FLAGs own website: https://mirg-samokov.eu/
FLAG Samokov is interested in cooperation in the field of environmental protection, diversification of aquaculture activities, and promoting local culture and natural heritage.
Budget envisaged for cooperation: Up to €5 000 (and annual costs for study trips to other Bulgarian and European FLAGs).
FLAG members include one municipality, five private aquaculture companies, and three non-government organisations.