Fishing Industry Development, Promotion of Fishing Tourism and Diversification of the Use of Water Areas as Focal Points in the Development Strategy of the East Finland Fisheries Local Action Group
An active and traditional fishing industry is an important part of the Eastern Finnish identity and way of living. Commercial fishing in the region is significant. The operation area is extensive although reasonably uniform regarding natural conditions and fishing industry. The SWOT analysis reveals that the strengths, possibilities, weaknesses and threaths are similar in the whole region. The strategy of the East Finland Fisheries Local Action Group for the programming period 2014–2020 is divided into three main themes:
1. A highly-networked and diversified fishing industry,
2. Fishing tourism
3. A diversified significance, use and participation in the water areas.
A highly-networked and diversified fishing industry in the operation area enhances commercial fishing knowledge and information exchange. Young people are encouraged to explore operation in the fishing industry for example through apprenticeship programmes. Encouraging young people into the business is required to ensure continuation of the fishing industry. A large part of the project grants allocated through the East Finland Fisheries Local Action Group is aimed at the development of a highly-networked and diversified fishing industry.
In fishing tourism, the strategy focuses in the creation and enhancement of cooperation networks as well as standardisation and development of fishing tourism products. Marketing and sales systems need to be continuously developed to improve customer reachability.
The preparation work of the strategy brought forth development needs regarding the conditions, management and diversified use of the waters. These factors play an essential role in the development of commercial fishing. As an example, watercourses in recreational use could be used also in fishing tourism. Fish stock maintenance, condition of the waters and development of the licence practices are essential for the fishing industry.
The uniting theme in the strategy is internationality. The purpose of international cooperation is to benefit local people and entrepreneurs through highly-networked businesses, new operation models and possibilities offered by technology. In the international operation, the East Finland Fisheries Local Action Group looks to act as a visionary and a network-creator.
The East Finland Fisheries Local Action Group is an active, productive and hardworking agent whose nets were successfully cast during the previous programming period. The operation is considered important in the region; this is proved by 18 project plans already in preparation for the upcoming period. In the current programming period, our goal is to get a diversified catch by focusing on networking even more. Fascinating fishing waters ahead!