The FLAG area consists of woodland and a large number of lakes and rivers as well as some off-shore islands. This is a coastal region that includes eight municipalities in total. Bräcke, Ånge, Timrå and Sollefteå are inland municipalities with lakes and rivers connected to the coastal waters. Sundsvall, Kramfors, Härnösand, and Örnsköldsvik municipalities have inland lakes and rivers as well as coastal maritime environments.
Sea catches here include herring, whitefish and salmon. Freshwater species such as perch and pike are also fished. Fishing areas of national interest are found in the archipelago outside of Örnsköldsvik, at the mouth of the Ångermanälven and outside Sundsvall around Alnön and Brämön.
Aqua farming on land is a new area, which can help improve the aquatic environment and business diversification for active fishermen.
Sea fishing as a form of tourism also has the potential to be a new source of income. An increasing number of restaurants have been established in both the coastal and the sheltered environment with the aim of capturing the tourist trade.
Challenges here include the recruitment of future generations of fishermen/women as the average age is high among both farmers and occupational fishermen. It is also difficult for smaller firms to deal with the regulatory burden. The fisheries also seek to address the challenge of predators competing for harvest, such as seals and cormorant.
There are over 400 protected areas in the FLAG area, such as nature preserves, one World Heritage Site (Höga Kusten), one National Park (Skuleskogen) and two BSPA’s (Vänta Litets Grund and Höga Kusten World Heritage). Sandviken fishing village is a cultural heritage preservation site. The larger rivers are also partly protected from power plant development. About 0.4% of the total area is covered by water protection areas.
There are four main aims addressed in the strategy:
Local and Regional
Projects can be presented and selected on an ongoing basis.
The FLAG shares a legal structure with the local LEADER LAG and their territories overlap. They also have a common Programme Management Committee which allows them to share strategies. The FLAG also cooperates with other FLAGs nearby and throughout Sweden.
The FLAG membership includes the municipalities of Bräcke, Ånge, Sundsvall, Timrå, Härnösand, Kramfors, Sollefteå and Örnsköldsvik, regional county councils in Västernorrland County and Jämtland County, the regional association of municipalities, local business associations in Bräcke, Ånge, Sundsvall and Timrå, local rural development associations in Bräcke, Ånge, Sundsvall and Timrå and the regional fishermen’s association.