The FLAG area covers the two most western islands of the Azores archipelago, Santa Maria and São Miguel. The area’s fisheries sector is characterised by traditional small-scale fisheries (mainly small siege, pole and long-line vessels). Common catches include small (mackerel and sardines) and large pelagic (tuna and swordfish) species, deep-water demersal, crustaceans and molluscs.
Challenges to the FLAG area include achieving ecological, economic and social objectives in a sustainable way. Specific challenges include a lack of professional training initiatives and low literacy levels in many communities. There is also a need for a better local understanding of scientific matters and coastal resources.
There are three protected areas in São Miguel and three in Santa Maria including Formigas, Mosteiros and Baía do Cura.
The key objectives of the FLAG’s local development strategy include:
The FLAG will make regular calls for projects beginning in Spring 2019.
The FLAG shares its territory and certain board members with two LEADER LAGs (LAG Arde and LAG Asdrep) which have been implementing CLLD on the islands for some time. The FLAG will cooperate with the LAGs on an informal basis.
FLAG has a total of 42 members including the associations of professional and recreational fishermen, ship-builders, ship-owners, public entities (local authorities and municipalities), private entities and associations of manufacturing and commerce and the University of the Azores.