Fisheries Areas Network

FLAG Factsheet

Litoral Norte FLAG

Official name: 
GALP Litoral Norte
Programming period: 


Located in the north of Portugal, the Litoral Norte (North Coast) is part of the Alto Minho region (NUT III), which is composed of 25 communes that make up five coastal and inland municipalities (Braga, Viana do Castelo, Caminha, Vila Nova de Cerveira and Valença).

The area has significant tourism potential, mainly due to the quality of the natural environment, the rivers course (the Minho and Lima Rivers are designated Sites of Community Importance - Natura 2000), and the coastal zone (16 Blue Flag beaches, Litoral Norte Natural Park).

Along the coast, there are many active fishing communities, which help to preserve the area’s maritime identity and traditions. The quality of the fish caught here is well recognised, with most popular species being octopus, sardines, mackerel (sea species), lamprey, sole and shad (migratory species found in local rivers).

Other activities associated with the "blue economy" include ship building and repair, and offshore renewable energy production.

The development of the maritime economy is a strategic priority for the region and is essential to preserving the social and cultural fabric of the area.

Specific challenges:

  • Protect the area’s biodiversity and improve the quality of coastal ecosystems and environmental, heritage and cultural resources generally.
  • Strengthen the area’s maritime culture and heritage.
  • Develop the North Coast as a tourism destination by promoting maritime activities, as well as environmental and cultural tourism.
  • Strengthen local institutional capital.
  • Enhance the added value of activities, products and services related to the sea.
  • Diversify activities in fishing areas by promoting innovation and the transformation of marine resources into new products and services.
  • Provide more structured and consistent support to local entrepreneurs.
  • Facilitate the accreditation of skills associated with the development of maritime activities.
  • Increase the employability of residents and help to maintain and create jobs and increase opportunities for skilled employment.
  • Promote social inclusion and cohesion.
Type of area:
Sea Basins:
Protected areas: 
  • One protected area: Litoral Norte (Northern coast) Natural Park;
  • Two Sites of Community Importance included in the Natura 2000 Network:
    • the Lima River and
    • Minho River.
98 960
Surface area (km²)
Population density
Total employment in fisheries
Women employment in fisheries: 

FLAG strategy

The strategy proposed for the Litoral Norte presents the following vision for the development of the area:

"A territory that values its maritime and fishing resources and traditions, while supporting new opportunities for economic development and job creation."

Realising this vision for the Litoral Norte is based on the pursuit of the following strategic objectives:

  • To promote and strengthen the different features of the area, in particular its environmental sustainability, and its heritage and maritime culture.
  • To support increased competitiveness, diversification, entrepreneurship and innovation in the local economy and in the maritime activities.
  • To support skills development and accreditation, and promote employment, employability and inclusion.
  • To strength the area’s social and institutional capital, enhance its visibility and improve the quality of local governance.
Adding value, creating jobs, and promoting innovation along the fisheries chain
% of the budget allocated: 
Supporting diversification
Enhancing and capitalising on the environmental assets
Promoting social wellbeing and cultural heritage
Strengthening the role of fisheries communities in local development


Total public budget allocated to the FLAG for 2014-2020: 
2 760 930
  • EMFF: 
    2 400 810
  • MS co-financing: 
    360 121
  • Sources of co-funding: 


  • Multi-funding: 
    • ERDF  -   € 1 250 000
    • ESF    -   €    750 000
  • Funds: 

Project examples

To consolidate the good results achieved in the last programming period, the FLAG will build on the dynamics generated by a series of flagship project, such as:

  • Sea Villages: this concept was developed in the 2007-2014 programming period and is also assuming an important role in the 2014-2020 Litoral Norte (North Coast) Strategy. The original project will be reinforced and will be now be one of the main priorities of the Coastal LAG. In the 2014-2020 programme, the project will be further developed with the creation of a Sea Villages Network, which will contribute to the sustainability of fishing communities and to the promotion of their endogenous entrepreneurship capacities. The concept will also be extended to other fishing communities.
  • Promotional campaigns for artisanal products at national/international scale. Building on a project developed by Vianapesca, a producer organisation of small-scale and medium-sized fleet operators from Northern Portugal, which developed a commercial strategy to boost sales of canned fish products and consolidate a commercial network at national and international level. A possible future project would be to further develop marketing activities for locally produced and emblematic seafood such as lamprey, sole or Allis shad, and seaweed, and to invest in new production processes.

Calls for proposals

Not available yet.  To date there is no specific national legislation relating to the launch of calls for applications.

Expertise & cooperation

  • Development of maritime tourism;
  • Development of the Sea Villages Network;
  • Diversification of activities in fisheries areas;
  • Adding value and innovation in the use of maritime resources and products.

Type of cooperation projects foreseen:

  • Inter-territorial (within the country)
  • Transnational
  • Sea basin: Atlantic
  • and/or Cross border.


Accountable body: 
[PT201] Comunidade Intermunicipal do Alto Minho
Members of the partnership: 

The partnership governance model is supported by a Partnership Protocol, signed by 49 local and regional entities, which are considered fundamental to the development of the Litoral Norte (North Coast) development strategy. These entities are part of the General Council of the Coastal LAG Litoral Norte. The private sector represents 75% of the members of the partnership, covering the main intervention areas, namely:

  • Associations of professional fishermen, including seven fishermen's associations, one producer organisation and one insurance co-operative;
  • The business sector, including: fishing boat owners (7), enterprises engaged in the production, commercialization and processing of fisheries products (4), aquaculture businesses (1), shipbuilding businesses (2), and other business activities related to the sea, including maritime enterprises (2);
  • Private associations, including business associations (2), rural development associations (rural CLLD) (3) and one yacht club;
  • The tourism sector, including: a private association of tourism enterprises and a hoteliers association;
  • A private association that promotes maritime culture and a business incubation association.

There are 12 public entities, including:

  • five local authorities,
  • two inter-municipal communities,
  • one higher education institution,
  • one institution of maritime technology,
  • a maritime education and research institute;
  • and three State bodies responsible for key sectors of the maritime economy (ports, fish markets, coastal management).
Number of individuals/organisations in partnership/general assembly: 
% of fisheries actors: 
% of other (non-fisheries) private / NGO sector actors: 
% of environmental actors: 
Number of individuals on main decision-making body/board: 
% of public actors: 
Number of contracted staff in FLAG: 



FLAG Contacts

[PT201] Comunidade Intermunicipal do Alto Minho
Rua Bernardo Abrunhosa, 105
4900-309 Viana do castelo
FLAG Manager:
Ms. Alexandrina Monteiro
+351 258 800 200
  • Portuguese (Mother tongue)
  • English (Advanced)
  • French (Advanced)
  • Spanish (Intermediate)
Publication date: 
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