The Association Fisheries Local Action Group Pojezierze Suwalsko – Augustowskie was established on 7 September 2009 in close cooperation with the local authorities of poviats and gminas in Suwałki Region.
The area of operation of FLAG Pojezierze Suwalsko-Augustowskie is 3,262 km2 and extends over seventeen gminas, namely the gminas Filipów, Jeleniewo, Przerośl, Raczki, Suwałki, Szypliszki and Wiżajny in Suwałki poviat, the gminas Giby, Krasnopol, Puńsk and Sejny in Sejny poviat, the town Augustów, the gminas Augustów, Bargłów Kościelny, Nowinka and Płaska in Augustów poviat and Rajgród gmina in Grajewo poviat. The Association’s registered office is located in Suwałki.
The principal objectives of our Association include supporting comprehensive and sustainable social, cultural and economic development of the fishery-dependent areas and the fulfilment of the detailed tasks set under the Local Development Strategy for the Fisheries Area. Suwałki region, for which such a local development strategy has been launched, has perfect natural conditions for the cultivation and development of sustainable fisheries. The assets of this area include high tourism potential, wonderful natural environment as well as fishing and angling traditions dating back centuries. Improving technical infrastructure and developing tourism based on the cultural heritage and natural resources of this region, taking actions for the protection of the natural environment, developing education and increasing the value of fisheries products are the priority tasks of our Fisheries Local Action Group. Support will be given to projects aimed at advancing the development of agrotoursim, handicraft and manufacturing of local products as well as fostering entrepreneurship and improving the living standards of the residents. At present, our Association has 105 members, including 38 legal entities (such as local governments, social and non-governmental organisations and foundations) and 67 individuals (fishermen and lake lessees).
The Fisheries Local Action Group Pojezierze Suwalsko – Augustowskie received a total grade of 96 points in the contest for the implementation of the Local Development Strategy for the Fisheries Area held by the Polish Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. This way it was ranked sixth among the best contestants and second in terms of the value of funds allocated to operations covered by Priority Axis 4. The value of the subsidy granted is PLN53,414,000. On 27 October 2010 in Białystok, our Group and the Ministry of Agriculture signed an agreement aimed at the realisation of the Local Development Strategy for the Fisheries Area. This was the first agreement of this kind to have been signed in Poland. Currently, the Fisheries Local Action Group Pojezierze Suwalsko-Augustowskie is the only organisation in the Eastern part of Poland set to implement the Operational Programme “Sustainable Development of the Fisheries Sector and Coastal Fishing Areas 2007-2013.”
The natural environment in Suwałki region is uniquely rich, which is appreciated both in Poland and abroad. More than 60% of this area is subject to nature or landscape protection. The most important of those protected areas are: the Wigry National Park, with Lake Wigry and other 41 reservoirs as well as woods and peat lands, the European network Natura 2000 area, the Suwałki Landscape Park with Poland’s deepest Lake Hańcza (112 m), and the vast woodland in the Augustów Primeval Forest. Pojezierze Suwalsko-Augustowskie is an area rich in fishing traditions, which covers 277 lakes. The total surface of the lakes reaches 16,024.00 ha. More than 200 fishing lake users are working in the fishery sector in this area. The lakes within the area covered by our Fisheries Local Action Group are renowned as the most beautiful and the cleanest in Poland.