Fisheries Areas Network

FLAG Factsheet

Vigo – A Guarda FLAG

Official name: 
Grupo de Acción Local del Sector Pesquero Ría de Vigo – A Guarda
Programming period: 


The FLAG area covers 11 municipalities in the south of Galicia and is bordered by Portugal to the south. It includes Vigo (particularly the fishing community of Vigo), the biggest city in Galicia and the largest fishing harbor in Spain.  There are 12 other ports in the area mainly in the north. Ten of these have auctions and four have marinas. In these northern areas, fishing is still an important activity, whereas to the south, shellfish activities, processing and canning are more prominent.

The region’s economy is largely based on fishing and canning, the maritime industry and the car industry, all of which are still suffering from the economic crisis. Most of this economic activity is concentrated around Vigo which also attracts most of the local population.  This results in areas with a very high population density (up to 500 inhabitants/km²), and areas with only 36 to 140 inhabitants/km².

Off the coast of Vigo, the iconic Cies Islands, part of the Natura2000 network, are an important landmark for the region.

An important challenge is the insufficient communication and cooperation between different organisations active in the area. Bringing together a variety of stakeholders within the fisheries sector could help to boost its competitiveness and subsequently tackle the shortage of quality jobs needed to provide the population with a good standard of life.

The area’s cultural heritage and natural resources are mostly underutilised and could be linked with other economic activities such as fisheries and tourism.

To counter the strong pressure from urban development and the intensive use of marine resources, more efforts are needed to protect the coastal environment and implement an integrated approach to improving the quality of life.

Type of area:
Sea Basins:
Protected areas: 

There are nine protected areas, covering more than 4% of the area.

This includes:

  • a national park (Islas Atlánticas),
  • six Special Areas of Conservation (Cabo Udra, Ensenada de San Simón, Islas Cíes, Islas Estelas, A Ramallosa, Baixo Miño, Islas Atlánticas), and
  • two Special Protection Areas (Esteiro do Miño, Islas Cíes).
145 558
Surface area (km²)
Population density
Total employment in fisheries
4 812
2 538
1 780
Women employment in fisheries: 

FLAG strategy

To improve the competitiveness of the fisheries sector, the FLAG will embrace initiatives that add value to fisheries products and foster innovation at all stages of the value chain. Projects that facilitate the vertical integration of businesses and tackle the current value drain will also be supported.

The FLAG will promote cooperation within the fisheries sector with a view to creating jobs and attracting young people into the sector.

In order to diversify and strengthen the fisheries sector, links with the touristic sector will be encouraged. In general, the FLAG will support operations that stimulate cross-sectorial dialogue or structures and support better integration of the fisheries sector within its region. The aim is to broaden the local economy in fisheries areas, e.g. looking for opportunities in blue growth and the maritime sectors. The FLAG also wants to strengthen the identity of the area by linking cultural, natural and fisheries assets.

To guarantee a sustainable (long term) future for the fisheries sector, as well as for the region, sharing knowledge on the efficient use of marine resources, combating climate change and promoting the transition to a low carbon society are also priorities. 

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: 
5 016 360
  • EMFF: 
    4 263 910
  • MS co-financing: 
    752 454
  • Sources of co-funding: 


Project examples

  • Support for professionals who are interested in creating businesses related to the sea (e.g. incubators);
  • Training for hotel and restaurant staff on improving the quality of their service (providing information on fisheries products, heritage sites, etc);
  • Monitoring and improving water quality in river/coastal areas.

Calls for proposals

Every year there will be a call for project proposals with a deadline of 1 March.

If the budget of that call is not exhausted, a second call will be organised, with a deadline of 1 September (except in 2020, when there will be no second call, in order to ensure the programme is closed on time).

Expertise & cooperation

  • Experience with the cooperation project, "Mar Galaica" www.margalaica.net/en/, which involved all Galician FLAGs in jointly promoting maritime tourism in the region.
  • The FLAG has hosted FLAGs among others from France, UK, Latvia, the Danube Delta (Romania), Alentejo (Portugal), Primosko-Sozopol-Tsarevo (Bulgaria), and Fuerteventura, in order to promote Axis 4 projects. Meetings with local fishermen were also arranged.
  • The FLAG visited projects in Brittany, the Ebro Delta, Northwest Cadiz and Tenerife.

Type of cooperation projects foreseen:

  • The FLAG is interested in continuing to cooperate with the other Galician FLAGs in promoting tourism in the area, as well as in setting up gastronomic campaigns related to seafood.
  • The FLAG is also interested in exchanging experience with all other FLAGs.

Budget available for cooperation: €25 000 per year.

Budget envisaged for cooperation: 


Accountable body: 
Grupo de Acción Local del Sector Pesquero 'Ría de Vigo-A Guarda'
Members of the partnership: 

The board (15) consists of:

  • five fishermen's associations (cofradías),
  • four municipalities,
  • one association of small shopkeepers and hotels,
  • one association of net makers,
  • one cooperative association of mussels from Galicia,
  • one business association,
  • one association of sports and cultural organisations, and
  • one educational institute.
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

Grupo de Acción Local del Sector Pesquero 'Ría de Vigo-A Guarda'
Avenida Beiramar 49
3º, oficina 5
36202 Vigo - Pontevedra
FLAG Manager:
Ms. María Elena Herbello Puentes
+34 986 35 81 09
  • Spanish (Mother tongue)
  • English (Intermediate)
  • French (Basic)
  • Portuguese (Basic)
Publication date: 
PDF Version