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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Study on the implementation of Axis 4 of the European Fisheries Fund MARE/2011/01

FLAG funding has seen a number of successful projects funded in Newlyn. 

Over £1.8 million of European Fisheries Fund (EFF) money has been committed to support the sustainable development of fishing communities in Cornwall & Isles of Scilly. Funding has been made available from the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) and DEFRA through the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), and is managed locally by Cornwall Development Company (CDC). It has been used by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) to maximise available private investment to build a sustainable future for local fisheries communities. 

 The FLAG area extends along the entire Cornish and Isles of Scilly coast, plus approximately 1 mile inland. The fund has been available for projects to bid into for investment up to a maximum of 100% of total project costs, depending on the project activity and proposed outcomes. The decision making board has comprised of representation from the local community including fishing, private, public and voluntary sector organisations. 

The FLAG has funded projects that will contribute to one or more of the following key themes: 


  • Developing sustainable supply chains and market development 
  • Providing infrastructure and communal facilities for fishing communities and cooperatives 
  • Capacity building, cooperative development and networking 
  • Training, retention and recruitment including diversification 
  • Coastal communities, tourism and economic development 
  • Advocacy and engagement for fishermen 
  • Regional sustainable management engagement 

For further information:

Contact Chris for further information on 01736 364324 email Chris.Ranford@cornwallrcc.org.uk or pop in to Seafood Cornwall Training for an informal chat with Chris. 


An executive summary of the entire project has been published which says:

In the 2007-2013 programming period, the European Fisheries Fund included a specific priority axis for the implementation of the Sustainable Development of Fisheries Areas (Axis 4). The rationale behind this specific priority axis was that EFF support for the development of fisheries areas should be part of an integrated local approach centered on a relevant territorial strategy and adapted to the local situation. The design and implementation of Axis 4 would be as decentralised as possible using a bottom-up approach helping local partnerships to tackle the short term effects of the Common Fisheries Policy and of the economic, social and environmental impacts of the depletion of fish stocks. Its purpose has also been to help fishing communities and areas create new sustainable sources of income and quality living.

Factors for success The study did not evaluate the success of individual FLAGs but did draw some conclusions on factors that determine the general success or failure of different FLAGs:

 Involvement of the (fisheries) community The involvement of the fisheries sector and other local actors in the community is key to the success of FLAGs. The bottom-up approach of Axis 4 requires an active community that is willing to develop projects fitting local needs. There is considerable potential for more quality projects if the skills and knowledge among local stakeholders is improved by further capacity building.

Previous local development experience Previous local development experience has proven to be a valuable asset as it helps FLAGs to have a clear view on local needs and expectations. It also offers the possibility to use an already established network in the community.

 Capacity of the FLAG staff

The capacity of the FLAG staff to engage the community in local development activities is critical in order to generate project ideas and high quality project proposals. This capacity can only be guaranteed with the right number of staff availing to good personal skills and high expertise. However, the time currently spent on administrative duties averages 31%, leaving little time to push for new projects and offer guidance and support.

 Effective and legitimised FLAG operations

Efficient and transparent selection procedures and criteria are critical for the success of FLAGs and can be used to avoid conflicts of interest in the evaluation of projects.

Project implementation:

 MAs should give FLAGs a formal role in monitoring the progress of projects, using clear guidelines and indicators.

 MAs should simplify the payment process and shorten the payment delay. FLAGs should facilitate payments by the provision of guidance and support to beneficiaries in meeting the financial requirements.

 MAs should make pre-financing available and pay beneficiaries in several stages if needed. The FLAGs should take step to help beneficiaries attract private funding.

Executive summary in full available here: