Speaking at the launch Padraig Ó Ceidigh said: “I am delighted to launch the West FLAG strategy. The FLAG is steered by a capable committee who have developed a community-led strategy that caters for the needs and aspirations of the local people.”
“It is vitally important that the project approvals and the €125,000 funding being announced by FLAG West are driven by a spirit of partnership and a real understanding of what our coastal community is about. Today’s range of project approvals will give direct benefit to individuals and companies who in turn will offer enhanced and expanded seafood services and marine events to a community that has worked hard to bring the strategy to this stage.”
Covering the coastal communities of Galway and Clare, FLAG West’s strategy was launched under Axis Four of the European Fisheries Fund, a new initiative to enable fisheries communities to create new and sustainable sources of income and to improve their quality of life.
The FLAG’s first order of business was to announce two tranches of project approvals. 17 projects have been approved for funding with a total investment of €125,000 with grant-aid of €53,000.
The funding provided covers a wide range of projects located in Inis Boffin, Inis Oirr, Cleggan, Killary, Carna, Cillchiaráin, Kinvara, Doonbeg and Carrigaholt. The projects vary from start-up artisan seafood producers, support for local traditional sailing festivals, up-skilling of fishermen, developing new methods of native oyster spat production, website design for seafood producers, harbour enhancement and ice making facilities for an island Co Operative.
FLAG-West is one of six Irish FLAGs launched under the Axis Four Fisheries Fund programme. Each FLAG consists of a mix of representatives from State organisations and fishing and marine groups. The FLAG-West covers the coast line from Shannon Estuary to the Killary. Each FLAG strategy will act as a roadmap for the Sustainable Development of Fishery Dependent Areas 2013 to 2015.
BIM acts as administrator to the FLAGS.