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.
There are nine protected areas, covering more than 4% of the area.
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.
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).
Type of cooperation projects foreseen:
Budget available for cooperation: €25 000 per year.
The board (15) consists of: