29 November 2012
Following the official launch earlier this year of the ‘Axis 4 – Sustainable Development of Fishery Dependent Areas Programme’, an exciting new initiative to empower and support our coastal communities, BIM is pleased to announce the Fisheries Local Action Group or ‘FLAG’ responsible for the Northern region was officially established today, the 28th November in the Clanree Hotel, Letterkenny.
Coordinated by Owen Doyle, BIM Regional FLAG Coordinator for the Northern area, the group comprises of representatives from the fisheries, community, county council and tourism sectors and will be charged with developing a strategy for their area (specifically Ballyshannon to Muff) over the coming months.
The aim of the Axis 4 programme funded by the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) and administered by BIM, is to empower fishing and aquaculture reliant communities to use the valuable resources they have at their disposal to develop and implement a strategy to increase revenue and employment opportunities for their respective areas.
The North FLAG is the third group to be established under this important programme. The West and South-East FLAGs are already in place with the North-West FLAG expected to be set up before year end and the remaining FLAGs for the South-West and North-West to be established in early 2013.
Each FLAG is responsible for delivering a strategy for their area on a devolved basis. The groups will formulate a local development strategy that identifies suitable projects that require financial or expert assistance. With the development of these strategies, there will be a call for projects from individuals and local communities. To qualify for funding, projects must satisfy specific criteria. For example, projects must be based in coastal areas (with the exception of areas of populations in excess of 15,000) and not located more than 10kms from the sea. In addition, projects must have a clearly identifiable marine connection or provide a specific benefit to a fishing region. In many cases, beneficiaries of support will be required to be either workers in the fisheries sector or persons with a job linked to the sector.
The North FLAG will be meeting regularly in the coming months to kickstart the strategy process which will include consultations with the local community.
Pictured front (L-R): Susan Grieve, Owen Doyle, Seamus Breathnach and Charlie O'Donnell.
Back (L-R): Caoimhin MacAoidh, Charlie Vial, Donnchadh O'Baoill, Máirín Ní Fhearraigh, Gerry Gallagher, Charles Sweeney, Liam Farren, Seamus Bovaird, Conor McCourt, Tony Boyle and Frances O'Dwyer.