Good Practice Method
In the 2007-2013 period, the Silute FLAG worked closely with their small-scale fishermen’s associations to give them a stronger voice and influence in local governance structures. As the programming period drew to a close, the FLAG saw an opportunity to continue this work with new funds made available by DG MARE for pilot projects. Indeed, in July 2015 a call was opened for projects aiming to reinforce the involvement of the small-scale fishing sector in industry organisations and publicly established bodies such as the Advisory Councils, set up under the Common Fisheries Policy.
The Lithuanian FLAG made contact with two Estonian and three Polish FLAGs, as well as their respective LEADER LAGs and a Latvian fishermen’s association, and through this collaboration, set about consulting small-scale fisheries actors of these Member States in order to put together a proposal that would facilitate their involvement in developments affecting their activity.
Based on this consultation, the Silute FLAG organised and analysed the information collected and prepared a bid to map the existing organisations that represented small-scale fisheries in the Baltic Sea Region and encourage their presence in relevant fora at national and European level. The proposal also included the setting up of an online information platform to increase awareness of relevant policy and legislation as well as the organisation of study visits and seminars to exchange good practice and share information.
The bid was successful and the project received a budget of €153 245 to create the conditions for co-operation and coordination of information of the small-scale fisheries sector in the Baltic Sea Region. This has allowed the FLAG to set up an online platform, fishingbaltic.eu, with information on sector policy, news, events and good practice. This is allowing small-scale fishing companies better access to information, thereby helping to increase their presence at industry events, and making them more visible as a sector.
Moreover, thanks to direct contact at seminars and study visits organised and/or promoted through this initiative, cooperation and exchange between different small-scale fisheries actors is starting to root. This is allowing them to develop solutions for common problems, such as ensuring generational renewal in the sector, tackling the challenges related to seals, or fostering a common voice for small-scale fisheries at EU level.
This type of project shows that FLAGs are well placed to help local fisheries respond to certain challenges by connecting them with EU-wide initiatives. Many FLAGs that are limited by a finite budget may want to consider looking to additional funding sources to complement their local development strategy.
In order to present a successful bid for other sources of funding, FLAGs will need staff that is familiar with writing project proposals, has a good level of English and knowledge of the subject in question (in this case small-scale fisheries and governance structures). If the proposal is done in collaboration with other groups, good networking and coordination skills are also required.
|Timeframe of implementation||From Jan 2015 to Dec 2017|
|Type of area|