The Zarasai and Visaginas region local action group is located in the north-east of Lithuania, in Utena county, on the border with Latvia and Belarus. The LAG territory is extremely rich in nature and pine woodland occupies nearly 30% of the LAG territory (around 51 thousand ha). 12.2% of the area is covered by around 300 water bodies. The total area of water bodies is about 13 000 ha. The largest lakes are Druksiai, Luodis, Aviliai and Sartai. 114 lakes are protected areas. The biological conditions of lakes are suitable for fisheries development. 28 fish species are found throughout these waterbodies.
Through the LAG territory there are eight rivers, the most important of which is the Šventoji. The biological conditions in the lakes are suitable for the development of fisheries activities. Almost all water bodies are used in one way or another for recreation. The LAG territory is characterised by a large number of natural and cultural tourism sites and has very good natural conditions for the development of active recreational tourism, in particular the development of fishing tourism.
Fisheries activities in the region are mainly based on aquaculture, processing and recreational fishing activities. The territory is characterised by small and medium - sized enterprises engaged in wholesale and retail trade, agriculture and tourism.
The territory is characterized by abundant nature and abundance of water bodies, therefore it has a great potential for development of recreational and fishery tourism.
It is important in the FLAG area to develop infrastructure for tourism activities related to fisheries, also conservation of the fishery environment. It’s important to ensure the renovation and development of villages and settlements where fishing activities are carried out also develop infrastructure for small-scale fisheries.
The increasing impact of climate change on agricultural and fishery products and the volatility of service prices will increase the risk of the activities of entities acting in the FLAG territory.
The region, like most regions in Lithuania, is dealing with migration abroad or other better economically standing regions at home.
The FLAG territory includes the Gražutės and Sartai regional parks which are protected areas.
The FLAG strategy will support the development of infrastructure dedicated to fisheries tourism and small-scale fishing activities, sustainable use of local environment resources via the promotion of ecological fishing, and also to create conditions for NGOs to contribute by strengthening the competitiveness of the fisheries region improve economic, social welfare and environmental quality in coastal areas.
FLAG project examples and ideas will be focused on the following themes:
The Zarasai-Visaginas FLAG has 55 members, of which 32 are representatives of civil society (58%), 21 are business sector representatives (38%) and two are local government representatives (4%).