18 February 2015
Bord Iascaigh Mhara Launch Awards Scheme for Young Fishmongers
Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Irish Sea Fisheries agency, officially launched their annual ‘BIM Young Fishmonger’ competition today, Tuesday 17th February 2015. The competition aims to reward fishmongers (under 35 years) who demonstrate a high level of expertise and knowledge. BIM is inviting all interested fishmongers to apply before the deadline (12 noon, 17th April 2015)
Gerard Collier of Fisherman’s Catch, Clogherhead, Co. Louth was the overall winner of the BIM Young Fishmonger 2015 competition.
The competition, now in its third year, is growing in popularity and as the consumer demand for seafood increases, Ireland’s fishmongers are adapting to consumer’s needs. This includes modern retail outlets that offer an extensive range of fresh fish and shellfish, prepared ‘ready to cook’ seafood dishes and an array of accompaniments from crumbs and marinades to flavoured butters.
Donal Buckley, BIM’s Director of Business Development & Innovation explains the importance of this growing retail sector ‘With the Irish seafood retail market valued at nearly €200 million, Fishmongers have an important role to play in encouraging Irish consumers to eat more fish, be more adventurous and to try new species. This competition will raise the bar in terms of quality, customer service and seafood skills and knowledge. We are looking forward to this year’s competition - best of luck to all applicants’
So what does it take to be Ireland’s Best Young Fishmonger?
The competition is extensively judged with three rounds of judging including an anonymous visit to the retail shop to assess the overall premises, the seafood offering, product knowledge and customer service.
Five fishmongers will be shortlisted to proceed to round two of the competition which involves in-depth visits by experienced judges.
The final stages of the competition, to be held in the BIM Seafood Development Centre in Clonakilty, Cork will include a filleting skills test, with all finalists expected to fillet and prepare a range of fish and shellfish under time constraints. A one to one interview regarding the finalist’s business plans, opportunities and challenges will also take place. They will also receive a master class with a specialist seafood chef.
The finalists will be presented with their prizes at an awards event in November including a specially designed trophy, a set of professional knives and a cheque for €500. The winner will also receive a specially designed trophy and knives in addition to a seafood study trip and a cheque for €1,000.
Last year’s competition was a resounding success with five excellent young fishmongers competing for the title (Stevie Connelly, Connelly’s Fish Company, Rathmines, Dublin, Gary Quinn, Stephen’s Fish Market, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, Gerard Collier, Fisherman’s Catch, Clogherhead, Co. Louth, Mateusz Kowalik, Doran’s on the Pier, Howth, Co. Dublin and Neil Turner, Caviston’s Food Emporium, Glasthule, Co. Dublin). The overall winner, Gerard Collier of Fisherman’s Catch continues to enjoy the benefits of the award;
‘I was thrilled to win the ‘BIM Young Fishmonger 2015’ competition. As well as the recognition and confidence boost it has given both me and the business, I learnt a great deal and it has inspired me to further develop our product offering this year. I am passionate about seafood and I am committed to continually improving the business and encouraging new customers to try a range of the excellent seafood off our coast. This competition not only recognises the importance of your local fishmonger – it also profiles Irish seafood and if we can get more people to eat more seafood – that will be a great result! Good luck to all the young fishmongers that apply this year - it is a fantastic experience’
Who can apply?
The BIM Young Fishmonger 2016 competition is open to persons employed full time in fish retail shops or on supermarket seafood counters. To be eligible, you must be:
- 35 years of age on 31/12/15
- Work a minimum of 30 hours full time per week exclusively on the seafood counter
- Have at least 2 years’ experience working in a fish shop or on a supermarket seafood counter
- Have excellent seafood product knowledge, technical skills and seafood preparation skills and customer insight.
To apply to be Ireland’s Best Young Fishmonger contact Lorraine O’Byrne on 01-2144185 or firstname.lastname@example.org