The FLAG is located in the north-western part of the Warmińsko-Mazurskie region. It is characterised by a high percentage of surface water (17% of the area). There are 119 lakes with a total area of around 34 000 hectares, as well as many forests and many protected areas. The main fishing activity is carried out in lakes, there are also a few fish farms, some of them producing juveniles. The main fish species include vendace, whitefish, pike, pikeperch, roach and bream, and they are served in local bars and restaurants in the summer months or around Christmas.
Key challenges include high unemployment, especially during the low season, out-migration of young people, insufficient and not diversified tourism. There is a need to develop skills of the unemployed persons. Other challenges are linked with deteriorating water quality and a decrease in fish resources.
There are over 130 000 hectares of protected areas, i.e. over 66% of the total FLAG area.
The strategy will, first of all, aim to implement activities that will extend the tourist season, promoting the area’s assets also in autumn and winter. Cooperation between tourism actors and development or tourist packages is envisaged. Investment in fisheries businesses and in improving the environment (e.g. renewable energies) and public spaces is also envisaged. Support to unemployed persons will include training, workshops and financial support to set up their own businesses.
The calls for projects are launched several times a year, dates of these calls are agreed with the regional authorities and announced on the FLAG website www.mazurylgr.pl, as well as on the websites of the participating municipalities and counties.
The public sector is represented by nine municipalities, two county administrations, the Research Institute for Inland Fisheries and a cultural centre. NGOs include local associations and the LEADER LAG. The business sector includes several fish farms, the Polish Anglers’ Association and many local SMEs. There remaining members are individuals.