The FLAG area covers the coast of the Gulf of Finland from Hanko to Virolahti and is well known locally for its beautiful archipelago. The regions fishing tradition, fishing methods, and operational culture have been and remain relatively uniform. There are approximately 110 full-time and 200 part-time professional fishers respectively and the area has five operational fish farms. Important catch species include the Baltic sprat and herring, zander, salmon, pike, and perch. Deep-sea trawling is us used to catch Baltic sprat and herring, while other methods such as hoop netting are used in coastal fisheries to catch pike and perch.
Nearly all fisheries enterprises in the area are small-scale family-run enterprises companies with little to no resources for independent development, cooperation, and renewal which presents a key challenge to the FLAG and its area. As is the scarcity of cooperation between different operators and industries. Another key challenge is the average age of professional fishermen, which is approximately 60 and encouraging younger generations to adopt the industry.
The area has three protected areas which are the Eastern National Parks of Gulf of Finland.
While also maintaining and respecting what is a strong culture and tradition in the area, the FLAG strategy has the following key objectives:
The FLAG’s project examples and ideas include:
Being the lead partner of the transnational cooperation project ‘Seals and Cormorants’ with FLAGs from Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Germany. The project aims to solve the problems seals and cormorants pose to fisheries catches in the Baltic Sea.
Project proposals can be presented on an ongoing basis. Board meetings are held when there is a critical mass of applications and sections are made.
Further to the topics described above in the strategy section, the FLAG has experience in monitoring and evaluation of the local development strategy. The FLAG is interested in cooperation on the topic of seals and cormorants in the Baltic Sea and is already leading a transnational cooperation project with FLAGs from Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Germany.
Members of the FLAG include the areas municipalities and fishing associations. It also includes several economic actors in the area, such as fisheries enterprises and restaurants. Further key partners of the FLAG are environmental NGOs, the Natural Resource Institute, the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation.