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Funds for fisheries areas

EU assistance encourages local development Until recently there was no special programme offering financial assistance from the EU funds to fisheries areas. The situation has now changed thanks to priority axis 4 of the Polish Operational Programme Sustainable Development of the Fisheries Sector and Coastal Fishing Areas 2007-2013 (OP Fisheries 2007-2013).


UR313m allocated for priority axis 4 are disbursed via fisheries local action groups (FLAGs) operating in municipalities (gminas) where the fisheries sector is an important element of the local economy. In the first call for proposals for FLAGs to implement local development strategies for fisheries areas (LDSFA), the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development selected 26 associations which received FLAG status. For each of them the Minister secured a budget starting from over 10 million (EUR2.5m) to several dozen million zlotys.

A FLAG is mainly a meeting platform for partners representing the social, public and economic sectors. Partners from each sector present varying points of view, have different interests and problems. The FLAG prepares a local development strategy for fisheries areas (LDSFA), i.e. a document taking into account various interests and defining the main sectors of the economy which should use the aid offered by axis 4. The approved LDSFA are implemented in the gminas of 11 provinces (voivodeships). The second and final call

for proposals will be completed soon to select other FLAGs which will receive funds for implementing their LDSFA.

Financial assistance under priority axis 4 All inhabitants of the area covered by the LDSFA, as well as persons from outside the area, who wish to invest or start an economic activity in the area where the FLAG operates, may apply for financing of their operations. Eligible beneficiaries include both natural and legal persons, research or cultural

institutions, non-governmental organisations involved in the development of a given area, as well as municipalities and local councils (poviats). A special place among the beneficiaries is reserved for representatives of the fisheries sector, i.e. farmers, fish processors, vessel owners, inland fishers and their employees. Important beneficiaries of axis 4 of the OP Fisheries 2007-2013 include also those providing services to the fisheries sector, e.g. repairing fishing equipment. They can obtain

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Eurofish Magazine 3 / 2011


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