The FLAG area is situated on the Atlantic coast and has a strong maritime history and attractive environment. With cities such as La Rochelle and the island of Ré, the area is a stronghold for marine tourism, blue growth and maritime economy. The area is composed of three very differentiated territories facing specific challenges, but sharing a strong maritime identity where sailing, fishing and aquaculture activities interact.
The urban area of La Rochelle, a city of over 30 000 inhabitants, provides landing and auction facilities for over 80 local and 90 external boats on the fishing harbour Chef de Baie. La Rochelle also has a vibrant sailing industry with the largest marina for pleasure boats in Europe at Les Minimes, and an important boat-building industry.
The small town of Charron, in the north of La Rochelle, is home to around 40 mussels producers who use a traditional technique and promote a well differentiated product linked with a very specific the mode of production (Moules la Charron label).
Opposite La Rochelle, the Ile de Ré has oyster-growers and more recently urchin-farmers. Oyster farming is mainly developed on the north coast where the ports of the island (Rivedoux-Plage, La Flotte-en-Ré, Saint-Martin-de-Ré and Loix) are located but also on the south coast of Ars -en-Ré. Over 60 oyster farmers, mostly family businesses, cover approximately 540 ha at sea.
The specific challenges the FLAG aims to address are:
Charron’s coastline is part of the natural reserve of the Aiguillon Bay. This area covers mudflats and salt marshes where biodiversity is being preserved. The reserve provides a strong balance between the preservation of marine species and traditional fishing and aquaculture activities.
The FLAG aims to work with small-scale fishermen and aquaculture growers with a priority on young people: who it will help to initiate and develop their fishing or aquaculture activity.
The FLAG strategy is divided into four main priorities:
Within these four priorities, specific goals have been set, these aim to
National, regional and local
Projects can be submitted on an ongoing basis. The selection committee meets at least twice a year.
The FLAG coordinator will help project promoters to prepare their proposal for an initial presentation.
If the initial presentation receives a positive answer, the project leader will submit application for an EMMF grant. The selection committee will approve eligible projects which respond to the FLAG’s strategy, in accordance with the Region’s priorities and regulations.
The FLAG has experience in public governance, maritime matters and structuring facilities and is interested in exchanging on issues of FLAG management (coordination, communication etc.) through inter-territorial and transnational study visits.
The four FLAGs of the region Nouvelle-Aquitaine cooperate on setting up their operations, developing common tools and identifying local projects. There is no cooperation with other CLLD groups yet. The town of Charron is a member of a LAG and, therefore, the two groups will share relevant information.
The FLAG is implemented by three legal entities. The lead partner is the Communauté d’Agglomération de La Rochelle (urban community). Its partners are: the inter-municipal body of l’Ile de Ré (communité de communues) and the municipality of Charron.
The FLAG partnership includes the port authorities of La Rochelle, the Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber of Agriculture, the Regional Committees of Sea Fishing and Fish Farming activities and of Shellfish Farming activities, fish producers and unions, technical schools and training organisations, a research centre and the local University.