€1.7m seafood strategy launched
BORD ISACAIGH MHARA (BIM), Ireland's Seafood Development Agency and the South East Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) announced a local development strategy in Hook Lighthouse recently that will deliver €1.68 million to the region.
The South East FLAG is one of seven FLAG groups that are participating in the Fisheries Local Action Group scheme which is co-funded under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and is administered by BIM.
The money will go towards promoting and supporting innovation by adding value to seafood products and diversifying the local maritime economy in the region.
Chairman of the South East Action Plan for Jobs Tourism Group Liam Griffin opened the event, saying; 'This strategy is a great opportunity for the south east region. The members of the South East FLAG chaired by Noel McDonagh are all capable and dedicated leaders in the marine, tourism and business sectors and the tailored strategy they have produced is built on consultation and input from stakeholders within the coastal communities of counties Wicklow, Wexford and Waterford.' 1,233 people are employed in the marine and seafood sector in the region. Both Kilmore Quay and Dunmore East are listed in the top five ports in Ireland with overall fish landings of 10,978 tonnes.
Recently two County Wexford seafood enterprises are among 19 nationwide awarded a total of €1.8 million under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) Operational Programme for the seafood sector. Sofrimar received €375,780 with €112,734 grant approved and Atlantis Seafoods received €16,300 with €8,150 grant approved.
Michael Keatinge, Interim CEO, BIM, said: 'The FLAG programme is designed to empower coastal communities to develop their own strategies that will leverage and maximise the marine opportunities in the area. Over the period of the last FLAG programme from 2012-2015, more than 180 projects were awarded grants of just under €1m towards a wide range of initiatives targeting job creation, social inclusion, tourism, regeneration and market development supported around the coastline.' The deadline to apply for funding to the South East FLAG is 5 p.m. on March 15, contact John Hickey, South East FLAG Facilitator, on 053 9129632 for further information and applicants can send completed applications to Caroline Curraoin, FLAG Investment Coordinator, c/o BIM, PO Box 9799, Crofton Road, Dun Laoghaire.