The FLAG covers the coastline of Gran Canaria, the most populated of the seven Canary Islands. Tourism is the main engine of Gran Canaria’s economy, 63% of which is divided between the retail trade and the restaurant sector.
Artisanal fisheries represent just 0.2% of the area’s direct employment, although this varies according to the municipalities. Industrial fisheries are also present in the big ports where boats from a number of different countries land their catch from long distant fishing (bluefin tuna, bonito, yellow fin tuna, to mention just a few). However, up to 12 nautical miles the island’s fisheries are largely small-scale, carried out by boats under 15 metres, using selective techniques and excluding bottom trawling. Over 150 different fish species are targeted, ranging from sardines and mackerel to grouper.
It is the fishing community around this artisanal fleet that the FLAG aims to support. Indeed, unlike the industrial fleet, this sector is facing difficulties to remain competitive and market their products effectively, resulting in most of the value of their catch going to middle men. Illegal fishing is another challenge, undermining the viability of small-scale fisheries.
Gran Canaria has 33 “protected natural areas”, making up 43% of its total surface area. It also has 7 marine Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), one marine Special Protection Area (SPA) and five land SPAs.
From the analysis of the needs and priorities of the fisheries area, five priority lines of action were chosen for the period:
The Gran Canaria FLAG has experience in pilot projects elated to tourism fshing and off-shore aquaculture. It is interested in cooperating with others FLAGs and CLLD groups, in particular on projects related to the control of illegal fishing, fish processinf and fishing tourism activities.
28 different bodies makes up the FLAG partnership.These include six fisheries organisations and cooperatives, two aquaculture organisations, ten different public-sector bodies (including town halls, public companies, the provincial government and a university), four compaies from the private sector and 6 associations.