The FLAG area covers the fisheries communities and coastline of the three combined local authority areas of Scottish Borders, East Lothian and Fife. The area includes 12 working harbours, several of which are discrete fishery harbours built in the 19th century. Each harbour has a mix of commercial and leisure business.
In total, there are 217 Scottish vessels registered in the area. The area accounts for 10% of the Scottish fleet, with Eyemouth the eighth largest district in Scotland. Furthermore, it is also second on the east coast to Fraserburgh, with Anstruther third.
Fish processing is a key element of the local economy, particularly in Eyemouth, Anstruther and Pittenweem and helps to provide much needed local employment.
There are many social and economic challenges in the area. Low income and relatively high unemployment are common in many of the main settlements. Eyemouth in particular, has a declining and ageing population. Current indications are that these trends are projected to continue.
Educational attainment is below average across much of the Forth FLAG area, and there are pockets of areas with very poor health statistics.
The area hosts 15 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), three Special Areas of Conservation (SAC's) and two Special Protections Areas (SPAs) under the birds' directive.
The FLAG strategy delivers the fisheries elements of three separate multi-fund local development strategies. Each local development strategy has variations in its priorities and focus, but common themes among them include economic growth, social inclusion and job creation.
Specific priorities for fishing areas include:
Application deadlines occur four times per year. The dates for 2017 include January 20th, April 14th, July 28th and October 13th. Applications are determined at FLAG meetings around six weeks after the deadline.
Deadlines will be publicised here.
Forth FLAG members offer significant experience of the industry and represent a broad cross section of a major fishing area of the UK. The FLAG is interested in all areas of co-operation, both inter-territorial and transnational. Potential areas of interest could include new products, industry innovation, development of tourism and preservation of traditional skills.
East Lothian Associatin of Community Councils, Fife Voluntary Associaton ten fisheries, fiqh processing organsation and two harbour trusts.