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Fisheries local action groups (FLAGS) in Finland

Local fisheries action group (FLAG) activities were launched in Finland in 2008. Finnish FLAGs operate in connection with Leader local action groups. FLAGs have aroused interest in fisheries in municipalities and other local interest groups, and the local communities have played a positive part in animating fisheries actors and adjacent groups.

In the program period 2014-2020 there are 9 FLAGs in mainland Finland and one FLAG on Åland Islands, with different regional characteristics and needs. FLAGs have regional strategies which are in line with EU-priorities and EMFF Operational programme for Finland. Strategies were accepted by Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in autumn 2015. Main goals for FLAGs are overall development of the fisheries value chain, developing and spreading new practices, improving cooperation and promoting fish products, especially locally produced.

Most areas have considered development and diversification of fisheries and marketing, networking and cooperation as important priorities. Enhancing fish consumption and increasing the extend of value added to of fish products are priority goals in several FLAG strategies. Improvement of know-how, and recruitment of new fishermen, especially young generations to industry are vital for future fisheries and are considered as strategic objectives in some areas. Some strategies aim at increasing tourism related to fish, diversification and social inclusion in the use of watersheds. Enhanced livelihood with environmental consideration and social capital, as well as general viability of coastal livelihoods are also important objectives.

Total budget for Finnish FLAGs is 2,9 M€ for years 2015-2016 (2017).

 

More information about the FLAGs:

 

FLAG Archipelago Sea
FLAG Bothnian Sea & Lake Pyhäjärvi
FLAG Central Finland
FLAG Coastal Bothnian Bay
FLAG East Finland
FLAG ESKO South Finland
FLAG Kainuu & Koillismaa
FLAG Lapland
FLAG Österbotten (website)