The area is very rural with thousands of years of history. There are many protected sites of natural beauty and the region attracts many tourists especially to the well-known island of Thassos. Fisheries in this area is mostly small-scale, complemented by some aquaculture and a limited amount large-scale fisheries activities.
The challenges the FLAG faces include high levels of unemployment, low incomes and market pressures on small-scale fishermen. Demographically, the area must also deal with an ageing population and a lack of opportunities for young people. It is hoped to tackle these issues through the promotion of local assets, a diversification of fisheries and aquaculture products and enhancing local tourism services.
Six protected areas: Nestos Forest, Nestos Delta, Thasopoula Island, Keramoti Laggon, Thassos, Strimona Delta. They constitute approx. 55% of the FLAG area.
The main thematic direction of this FLAG’s strategy lies in helping economic actors in the area connect and develop links across sectors whilst supporting entrepreneurship and the broader marketing of products. This strategy focuses on implementing broad-ranging and sustainable local development through the linking of coastal areas with the agricultural inland.
Furthermore, the FLAG aims to address local challenges through the promotion of tourism, improving the competitiveness of fisheries products, adding value and clustering businesses in order to make them more competitive.
The development company also uses EAFRD under LEADER to fund projects supporting the processing of agricultural products, diversification, tourism, etc.
The FLAG is interested in cooperating around:
The FLAG shares both a legal structure and part of its territory with a local LEADER LAG. They also share board members and co-ordinate their activities.
The FLAG has informal cooperation with other FLAGS and other CLLD groups all over the country. This is mainly through HELADA which is the representative body of LAGs and FLAGs in Greece. It is also through this network that a lot of international cooperation is organised.