North West coastal based projects secure over €568,397 investment under Fisheries Local Area Action Group (FLAG) Strategy

Achill based Purteen Fishermen’s Group and Keem Bay Seafoods two of 27 FLAG projects in 2018


July 20th, 2018


Bord Iascaigh Mhara today announced details of a €568,397 investment for 27 coastal based projects in the North West of Ireland under the Fisheries Local Area Action Group (FLAG) Strategy.


Jim O’Toole, CEO of BIM said that the FLAG Programme would continue “to promote sustainable growth in the local economies of Irish coastal towns and villages and provide a significant boost to these important communities.” He added that, “by 2020, the FLAG Programme will have invested up to €12 million in Ireland’s coastal communities, providing jobs, and exciting opportunities to men and women who live along Ireland’s coastline.”


More than 400 applications have been made to the FLAG programme this year. All applications were reviewed by individual FLAG Boards in each of the seven FLAG regions throughout Ireland. Projects must be able to demonstrate a clear link to coastal community rejuvenation, enterprise, innovation, job creation and skills enhancement across the fishing, aquaculture and maritime industries.


Purteen Fishermen’s Group and Achill Experience on Achill Island, Co. Mayo are two of 27 North West based coastal projects that successfully applied for FLAG funding this year. Both projectsfeature in a new BIM video campaign to raise awareness of FLAG that was launched earlier this week.

FLAG funding  has enabled Purteen Fishermen’s Group to develop a new refrigeration facility at the harbour allowing fishermen to store and sell fresh fish locally. FLAG investment has also allowed for the further development and expansion of Achill Experience, an indoor, interactive aquarium and visitor centre on the island. The aquarium which currently employs a staff of nine is open to visitors year-round and includes a live display of 40 species of local fish as well as other sea creatures such as four different types of lobster found in waters around Ireland. 

The FLAG programme is co funded by the Irish Government and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). BIM, Ireland’s Seafood Development Agency, administers the programme.


Applications for 2019 FLAG is now open. Details on the FLAG programme and on how to apply can be found at


Video of Purteen Fishermen’s Group and Keem Bay Seafoods can be watched here –

Gerard Hassett, Purteen Fishermen¿s Group

Gerard Hassett, Purteen Fishermen’s Group, one of 27 FLAG North West based coastal projects that applied for funding in 2018 and features in a new BIM video campaign to raise awarenss of FLAG.