The FLAG area is situated in the western part of the Lublin region. It has very varied terrain, suitable for active tourism, and many protected areas. There are over 900 fish ponds. Fish production is carried out mainly by small family farms of two types: extensive carp production in ponds (with complementary fish species), and intensive production of trout and sturgeon. There is good potential for food processing, based on agricultural and fisheries products.
The fisheries sector faces many challenges, including a lack of market outlets, complex legal requirements for direct sales of fish, risks related to climate change, and natural disasters (droughts and floods) and damages caused by poachers and predator animals such as beavers. Other challenges are linked with the high average age of fish producers and their employees, and the low level of skills which restrict the possibilities for modernising production methods and infrastructure.
43.5% of the FLAG area is protected in one way or another including protected landscapes, landscape parks, nature reserves, and Natura 2000 areas.
The FLAG aims to support business development and create conditions for strengthening the fisheries sector, promote fish sales, and add value to local fish products, as well as encourage investment in improving water management.
It will also support complementary activities outside fisheries, especially for small fish farms with low incomes. Awareness raising focused on fisheries as an important economic sector and fish as a valuable product is also envisaged.
The FLAG is also using EAFRD funding (LEADER). This funding will be used to support business development in rural areas (including e.g. processing incubators, short supply chains and tourism services), strengthening social capital, maintaining local heritage, and promoting the area, including local products and services.
There will be calls for projects, two in 2017, two in 2018, one in 2019. Information is available on the FLAG website.
The FLAG partners include seven municipalities and eight other public bodies, 62 local businesses, of which 12 are fish producers, and 93 representatives of the social sector including local associations, other NGOs and individuals.