The FLAG area is situated in the north of Croatia near the border with Slovenia and close to Italy. The area’s key industries are tourism and other services, agriculture and fishing, focusing mainly on sardines and anchovy; there are also two aquaculture farms producing shellfish. The catches are growing, but the fishing profession is not attractive for young people and the fisheries tradition and heritage is not sufficiently valorised. There are many small ports with insufficient infrastructure, outdated equipment, lack of rescue equipment and limited access to the internet, which complicates the work of fishermen. Another challenge is poor water quality and low level of environmental awareness of the population.
There are two protected areas in the FLAG territory – Istarske Toplice and the Škarline Nature Park. There are also five Natura 2000 sites.
The FLAG’s local development strategy has the following key objectives:
Project ideas for the FLAG will be focused on educating young people about sustainable fisheries, strengthening capacities to diversify business activities and the promotion and marketing of fish products. A specific project example is:
Information on calls for projects will be published on the FLAG website
FLAG members include six representatives from the public sector (the local governments of the FLAG area), three are from the social sector (associations dealing with sea, culture and sports fishing), and five from the business sector (four of them linked to fisheries).