Following the official launch of the ‘Axis 4 – Sustainable Development of Fishery Dependent Areas Programme’ in June 2012, an exciting new initiative to empower and support our coastal communities, BIM is pleased to announce (today 23 May 2013) that the Fisheries Local Action Group or ‘FLAG’ responsible for the South-West region (Cork and Kerry) has been established.
Back row: Joseph O’Shea, Fishing South Kerry; Seamus O’Grady,Fishing North Kerry; Huan Tan, BIM; Finian O’Sullivan, Bantry IFA Aquaculture SW region rep; Ian Dempsey, West Cork Leader; John Hickey, BIM; John Walsh, Islands Community and John Tattan, Fishing East Cork
Front row: Kevin Flannery, Environment Community; Vera O’Donovan, BIM; Artie Clifford, Artisan Food Production and Máire Ní Shé, Udaras na Gaeltachta
Coordinated by Vera O’Donovan and Huan Tan, BIM Regional FLAG Coordinators for the South West area, the group comprises of representatives from the fisheries, aquaculture, seafood production, environment, community, and tourism sectors*(see notes to editor for full list of representatives) and will be charged with developing a Local Integrated Development Strategy for their area over the coming months. The South-West FLAG Co-ordinators “see the development of the Fisheries Local Action Group as critical piece of infrastructure to capture additional opportunities for Coastal Regions and stepping stone towards developing the capacity to take advantage of funds which may present themselves in the future. “
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.
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. A consultation process will be initiated during early June. Once the Local Integrated Development Strategy is finalised, 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 South-West FLAG will be meeting regularly in the coming months to set in motion the strategy process which will include consultations with the local coastal community.
At a recent meeting of the SW FLAG in the KTI Centre Deerpark Killarney FLAG members met to plan the consultation phase. A series of public meetings to hear the opinions of local coastal communities from Ballybunion to Bantry and Ballyheigue to Ballycotton will be kicking off in early June. For more information about the public meetings or to make a submission, please email Vera O’Donovan at email@example.com or Huan Tan@bim.ie.
The following have been appointed to the South-West FLAG:
- Tomas Hayes, Kerry County Enterprise Board
- Dan Hourihane, Cork County Council
- Máire Ní Shé, Údaras na Gaeltachta
- Jo O’Driscoll, Failte Ireland
- Ian Dempsey, West Cork Leader
- Ger Canning, Cork VEC
- John Walsh, Islands Community
- Kevin Flannery, Environment Community
- Frank Fleming, Responsible Irish Fish
- Seamus O Grady, Fishing N Kerry
- Joseph O Shea Fishing , South Kerry
- John Tattan Fishing East Cork
- Finian O’Sullivan, Bantry IFA Aquaculture SW region rep.
- Artie Clifford, Artisan food production & Chairman of Blas na hEireann
- Sean Quinlan, Community Kerry C&V Forum
- Vera O’Donovan, BIM FLAG Co-ordinator
- Huan Tan, BIM