Press Release and Public Meeting Notice
BIM Takes Forward New Funding Initiative targeting Fishing Communities and Inshore Fishermen in Mayo/Sligo
Information and Ideas Meetings Will be Held in the
Broadhaven Hotel Wednesday the 15th May at 7.30pm
All those connected with or interested in fisheries, the marine economy, and Marine tourism are encouraged to attend.
The reduction in fishing activity, and continued challenges for the small boat fleet to remain viable, has impacted on the communities for whom fishing is a definitive part of their world and daily lives. The purpose of a new BIM Programme is to enable fishing communities to create new and sustainable sources of income and to improve their quality of life. It does this by empowering local people, those who best understand both the problems and the aspirations of fisheries communities, in particular by providing them with the tools and resources to develop and adapt. The goal will be to protect that deeply rooted tradition, provide opportunities for the communities affected to re shape their economic future, while retaining as much as possible of their heritage, values and sense of being ‘fishing communities’.
A strategy is being prepared for the Coastal Counties of Mayo/Sligo coasts over the next eight weeks which will identify priorities for spend in the area. The strategy will be like a LEADER strategy, except with a very specific focus on fishing communities and activities that celebrate and build linkages to the sea and marine resources.
The strategy is just for the period 2013-2015 with a very modest budget in it for the region, but it is likely that more substantial support will be forthcoming in future programmes and it will be important to demonstrate the value of this initiative and to prove it can target fishing communities in a very specific way, as well as add value and complement other initiatives such as the Rural Development Programme.
In 2013 BIM will make calls for proposals under the programme, in accordance with the strategy that has been prepared. The programme could fund projects under the following headings:
- Small fisheries and tourism infrastructure development: i.e. Improvements to port facilities such as, converting old ice plants/stores into tourist amenities coffee shops etc,
- Skills transfer: i.e. training & up-skilling (perhaps to crewmen of vessels which have ceased fishing,
- Diversification: i.e. MarineTourism,
- Promoting the consumption of seafood: i.e.. Seafood festivals, schools competitions,
- Adding value to fisheries: i.e. supporting the development of artisan products/establishing regional branding.
Consultant Kate Burns and associates have been contracted to develop the strategy and with BIM are holding a public consultation session at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 15th May in the Broadhaven Hotel in Belmullet. We would encourage those communities living within 10 kilometres of the coast, who have a connection with coastal and fishing livelihood to come along and express their views and ideas.
Contact: kate Burns 087 – 114 – 8078