BIM Sea Fisheries Group Programme Supports First Ever Killybegs Seafood Festival

John Hackett (BIM) and John O'Brien (Albatross Seafoods) shake hands

Group in the Comunity Centre

BIM’s Fisheries Local Action Group programme supported the first ever seafood festival in Killybegs, Co. Donegal on the 26th September. Organised by the Killybegs Community Council, ‘Hooked!’ was a celebration of the fishing heritage in the premier port of Killybegs and based on the success of the event, the organisers aim to make the festival an annual event to attract more visitors to the region.

Left to right Frances O’Dwyer (BIM), Deirdre McGuinness (Killybegs Community Council) Conal Molloy (Molloy Fish) and Thomas Pringle (T.D).

Held on a beautiful sunny day on the grounds and in the building of the Killybegs Tourism College (LYIT), an array of outdoor and indoor activities were on show including the anticipated regional chowder competition, where the winner Nancy’s Barn of Ballyliffen will now go on to Kinsale to represent Donegal in the 2016 National Chowder competition. There were also fresh fish displays of locally caught fish and shellfish and the Shine family were kept busy promoting the free seafood from their Fish Tram in aid of the Donegal Cancer Bus Service.

BIM were on hand to promote the importance of innovation and sustainability in the sector with BIM’s Seafood Development Centre showcasing their services to assist seafood companies to develop innovative products in their custom built centre in Clonakilty and in their North West hub in Killybegs.

At the BIM ‘V’-Notching demonstration stand, BIM’s Frances O’Dwyer delivered expert talks and demonstrations on Irish lobsters and BIM’s lobster conservation programme. The talk covered topics such as how to differentiate between male and female lobsters, about legal landing sizes and what lobster are to be returned alive to the sea. ‘V’-notching was explained as being one of the most important technical conservation measures for the Irish lobster stock. Details of the popular BIM Lobster ‘V’-notching conservation Scheme can be found online or by contacting your local BIM Fisheries representative.  The highlight of the stand was the uncooked orange lobster. All lobster was ‘V’-notched and returned to sea alive. The lobsters were supplied by Adrian Boyle MFV Girl Denise, Kilcar.

There was a host of activities to attract all ages, ranging from find the net-penalty shoot offs, Magician’s, Killybegs Coast & Cliff Rescue and the fish filleting competition highlighting the local skills that are normally behind the walls of the local factories. BIM’s John Hackett and Eamon McGuinness watched over the proceedings where local factories competed against each other. John O’Brien of Albatross Seafood’s was announced the winner.