Michael Creed, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, has announced €12 million funding under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) Operational Programme to seven Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs).
These seven groups have recently selected as part of a competitive process under the community led local development element of the €240 million EMFF Operational Programme. The EMFF Operational Programme was launched in January 2016 and provides €240m in funding to the seafood sector (fisheries, aquaculture and seafood processing) over the period 2014 to 2020
Announcing the funding, Minister Creed said: “I am delighted to announce today a total package of €12 million to fund local development initiatives in our coastal communities. This funding will be allocated by and to those communities by the 7 FLAGs recently established. The FLAGs are made up of local actors from the fisheries and aquaculture sectors and others with a strong interest in fostering the development of our coastal communities. The funding will be available to the FLAGs over the period 2017 to 2021 approximately and is an eight-fold increase on the €1.5m that was available under the previous FLAG scheme”.
Ms Tara McCarthy, CEO of Bord Iascaigh Mhara commented: “As the State agency responsible for providing a range of administrative and technical supports to the FLAG’s, we welcome the significant increase in funding for a programme that has already contributed €1.5 million in direct and indirect investment to our coastal communities. Each of the FLAG groups represents 7 coastal communities where the importance of the Irish Seafood Sector from our fishermen to seafood processors and retailers is paramount. This increase in funding will enable BIM to assist the FLAG groups to develop strategic plans that will enhance and in some cases diversify their existing marine related resource and enterprise. On behalf of BIM, I would like to thank all of the FLAG members for their dedication to this programme”.