The area of the Three Estuaries FLAG covers the municipalities along the estuaries of the Canche, Authie and Somme rivers, from the towns of Camiers and Etaples in the north to Mers-les-Bains in the south. The coastal strip is characterized by shallow bays, rivers and marshes but also steep limestone cliffs and rocky beaches. The FLAG area is mainly rural, with just the coastal fringe which is heavily urbanized and touristic. This presence of tourism and a diversity of other activities represent opportunities for the development of the area.
The fisheries, aquaculture and harvesting activities in the area allow a varied product offer: mussels, shellfish, fish and marine plants. This rich area, both ecologically and culturally, must manage its resources in a sustainable way, by conserving and enhancing the maritime heritage, pooling both scientific and empirical knowledge, and also by involving fisheries professionals in the sustainable development of the area.
In order to maintain and develop sustainable fishing and shellfish farming activities, three challenges need to be addressed in particular: better communication between these activities, improving the attractiveness of harbours, and optimizing the productive potential of the area by improving knowledge and adopting a common vision.
One Natural Marine Park covering the entire marine area of the FLAG, the “Parc Naturel Marin des Estuaires Picardset de la Mer d’Opale”.
The FLAG strategy aims to address two specific challenges for the area: 1) the lack of communication and coordination between the different economic, political and administrative activities in the area which weakens the structure and visibility of fishing and shellfish farming; and 2) the rich diversity yet fragmented range of products from local companies, which need to be supported and developed coherently, through better use of local products. To address these issues, the FLAG strategy is structured around five priority areas:
Regional and local
The FLAG does not publish calls for projects. Projects can be submitted at any time of the year. The FLAG holds four meetings a year, coordinated with the calendar of the Regional commission, to select projects for FLAG support.
The FLAG is interested in cooperating with other regions on the design of short-chain marketing and processes to add value to local products, mostly to learn about other experiences and raise awareness of local professionals on the contexts and solutions to similar problems among fellow professionals in Europe. In particular, the FLAG would like to use cooperation to explore:
Cooperation with FLAGs, but also LEADER LAGs will be welcome.
Fishing, aquaculture and foot fishermen representatives, including the regional fishing and aquaculture committee (CRPMEM NPdC-Picardie), the regional shellfishing committee of the eastern Channel and North Sea, Producer Organisations (Coopérative Maritime Etaploise / FROM NORD), Association of the Somme Bay salicon harvesters.
Associations and museums promoting fisheries activities and heritage (Maréis, Association Souvenir-Sauvegarde des traditions des marins pêcheurs étaplois, Association sauvegarde de la mémoire du Crotoy).
Various public sector bodies, including Town Halls of five municipalities (Etaples/mer, Crotoy, Cayeux/mer, St-Valéry-sur-Somme and Berck) and the inter-municipal body, the Syndicat mixte du Montreuillois.
Local tourist offices and agency (Agence de l’attractivité en Opale Canche Authie).
Three natural parks: the Marine Park of the Piardie Estuaries and the Opale Sea, the "Baie de Somme 3 Vallées" and the "Baie de Somme – Grand Littoral Picard" and GEMEL, an environmental research group.