The FLAG area covers parts of Heraklion and Rethymno, with a total population of 13 155.
The area has significant port infrastructure, fishing harbours and fishing shelters. The fisheries communities have similar social, economic and development characteristics.
The main challenges that the area faces include:
The development of complementary actions that support fisheries
The improvement of hygiene and safety conditions on the boats while ensuring the protection of the marine environment
The development of small enterprises that explore the marine environment (i.e. diving tourism, or fisheries tourism)
The improvement and/or creation of public infrastructure that will improve the conditions of the harbours
Five Natura 2000 protected areas covering a total of 4 907.802 hectares.
The aim of the FLAG strategy is to add value to local fisheries products. It is also hoped to supply local agricultural and fisheries products to the tourist market in order to boost demand.
Through the sustainable development of tourism and the management of the natural and cultural environment, the FLAG also aims to protect the coastal and natural marine environment and ensure the sustainable use of the natural resources.
It has a total public budget of €6 700 000 (€5 200 000 for EAFRD interventions and €1 500 000 for EMFF interventions).
Some projects ideas include:
Cooperation project envisaged: Ιnter-territorial project “Marine environment, coastal threats and fisheries”: Τhe project is a cooperation between 17 FLAGs from all over Greece and the project coordinator is Heraklion Development Agency. The main objective is the identification, mapping and prioritisation of environmental threats of the Greek seas and how they are related to fisheries and coastal areas.
The FLAG membership includes the municipalities of the area (Anogion, Mylopotamos, Rethymno, Agios Vasilios, Amarisios, Fastos, Gortyna, Malevisi), the region of Crete, the chamber of Rethymno, the agricultural cooperatives of Mylopotamos and Rethymno, the agricultural craft cooperative of the women of the municipality of Rouva, the institution of technology and cooperation, the institute of speleological research, the agricultural associations of the area and the cultural associations of the area. There are no fisheries related actors in the membership but two members of the decision-making body are fisheries associations