The Santa Pola FLAG is located in the South East of the Iberian Peninsula and covers the municipalities of Santa Pola and Guardamar. The main economic activities in both localities are fishing, aquaculture and tourism; salt production in salt lakes is also quite relevant. The main fishing techniques used are trawling and different types of artisanal fisheries. Catches from fisheries are extremely diverse, ranging from red shrimp and Caramote prawn, to hake and mullet; aquaculture mainly involves rearing gilthead seabream and European seabass. Fish production is largely sold in regional and national markets.
Tourism is seasonal and dominated by residential tourism during the summer. The area covered by the Santa Pola FLAG includes rich natural resources, both land a marine based, with high potential for future sustainable development.
As the foundation of the local economy, the FLAG will be focusing on the fisheries and aquaculture sectors – as well as connecting these with the tourism industry and tertiary sectors. Indeed, the aim is to foster diversification of the local economy by creating new marine-related economic activities with higher added value to increase social resilience.
Five Sites of Community Importance (SCIs): The Santa Pola Saltmarshes, Tabarca Islands, Cabo Roig “Red Cape”, Clot de Galvany, and the Guardamar Dunes, the first three of which are also special protection areas (SPAs).
Four plant micro-reserves: the “Barranc de l'Escolgador de Crist”, the Pinet Dunes, the Pinet Saltmarshes and the Guardamar Dunes.
Two further natural parks: El Fondó Park and the Mata and Torrevieja Lagoons.
The FLAG strategy has five key elements:
The FLAG has experience in fishing and industrial development and is interested in exploring new fishing and aquaculture by-products, touristic strategies and different kinds of governance.