The FLAG territory has two geographically distinct areas, the coastal region to the east and the Dobrudzha plateau to the west. Fishing in the coastal areas, on the Black Sea, is traditional activity and important to the livelihood of many local communities. Fisheries are predominantly small-scale, accounting for approximately 90% of the sectors total employment. Fisheries and aquaculture are significantly important to the local economy, the regions identity, culture and traditions.
A key challenge to the FLAG is the seasonality of its fisheries industry. The entire supply chain (catch, sales and consumption) of fisheries and aquaculture products are seasonally based. As a result, a lack of diversification and activities outside of the fishing season are a challenge, as is up-scaling the industry while protecting the area’s cultural heritage, natural environments, and biodiversity.
Approximately 20% of the FLAG’s territory is protected. This includes 13 areas protected under the Natura 2000 network. Seven of which are protected bird conservation areas and six are protected natural habitats. The most significant protected area is the Kaliakra Nature Reserve which covers a total of 6.9km2, was one of the first protected areas in Bulgaria.
The FLAG’s local development strategy has the overarching aim of achieving economic and social renewal in the area through the development of its fisheries and aquaculture sectors. More specific aims include:
The FLAG will make regular calls for projects (typically once a year). The call announcements will be published on the FLAG website.
FLAG members include the representatives of the three local municipalities (Shabla, Kavarna and Balchik), 12 representatives from the fisheries and aquaculture sector and 11 representatives from other private sectors (some of which are NGO’s).