18th December

Ireland's seafood and aquaculture sectors receive European funding

Fifty-one seafood enterprises under 5 schemes have been awarded €4.3m in grand aid from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Operational Programme, co-funded by the State.

The EMFF was was adopted in December 2015 to provide financial support and leverage investment in Ireland's seafood sector.

Seafest seafood

Announcing the details, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, said the investment would deliver jobs to coastal  communities, develop new value-added seafood products; develop new markets and increase sales for Irish seafood products, and new processes in aquaculture production, disease management and animal husbanddry.

"These investments will assist seafood enterprises to contribute to the ambitious growth targets we hae set  for our processing and aquaculture sectors."

Further grant offers under the various schemes are expected "in the coming months".


€3.4m awarded to 27 enterprises towards total investment of €19.4m. The investment is projected to create 3016 jobs and additional sales of €77m by 2019.

Scaling and New markets 

€157,000 awarded to 4 enterprises towards total investment of €335,000

Innovation & Business 

€164,000 awarded to 8 enterprises towards total investment of €328,000

Knowledge Gateway 

€199,000 awarded to 4 enterprises towards total investment of €305,000 

Sustainable Aquaculture

€382,000 awarded to 8 enterprises  towards total investment in excess of €1m

Full details: www.bim.ie/schemes

Sea Gastronomy is shortlisted in world's top 3 cookbooks awards

The World Gourmand Cookbook Awards, the ‘Oscars’ of the food industry, is the most prestigious accolade in the world of culinary writing and winners will be announced in Yantai, China, on Sunday 29th of May.

Sea Gastronomy - written by Galway chef Michael O’Meara and published by Artisan House Connemara - is the only Irish contender to be nominated in two categories: 'Seafood' and significantly, in the overall 'Best Cookbook' category.

Now in its 20th year, these awards are acknowledged as the most distinguished competition of their kind, celebrating the highest accomplished and influential culinary writers from 136 countries across the globe. Sea Gastronomy will be competing against international competitors from China, South America, Europe and the USA for the coveted title of the world’s best cookbook.

SEA Gastronomy Book front

Recently announced as winner of John and Sally McKenna’s 'Book of the Year 2015', Sea Gastronomy is a stunning encyclopaedia of fish, containing over 220 recipes and 110 seafood species of the North Atlantic, carefully researched and photographed by Michael O’Meara and beautifully produced and published by Artisan House, Connemara.

(see review: http://www.inshore-ireland.com/News/gastronomy-fish-shellfish-of-the-north-atlantic.html

Read more: Sea Gastronomy is shortlisted in world's top 3 cookbooks awards

Seafood conference with global appeal

An 'exceptional' line-up of speakers will present at a major seafood conference on June 30, opening the annual Ocean Wealth and Seafest events in Galway, running until July 3.

This full-day conference and networking event, Global Insights, Irish Opportunity, organised by BIM, Ireland's seafood development agency, will bring together leading experts and global representatives from the natiional and international seafood and agri-business communities, government and academia.


The speaker lineup includes Mary Shelman, former Director of the Agribusiness Programme, Harvard Business School; Malcolm Beveridge, Head of Agriculture, FAO Rome: Jean Jacques VandeHeede, AC Neilsen Europe and Aidan O'Driscoll, SG of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Read more: Seafood conference with global appeal

Young fishmonger competition 2017

The BIM Young Fishmonger 2017 competition aims to recognise and reward fishmongers (35 yrs and under) who demonstrate a high level of expertise and seafood knowledge.


BIM young fishmonger

Tara McCarthy, BIM chief executive with previous winners: James Kirwan, East Coast Seafood, Naas, Co. Kildare; Gerard Collier, Fisherman’s Catch, Clogherhead, Co. Louth and current winner George Stephens (centre), The Fish Market, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15. Photo Paul Sherwood

Inclusion this year of a 'supermarket seafood counter' category will ensure that excellence in this specialist field is developed across the entire seafood retail sector, the agency contends.

The competition is a celebration of excellence in seafood, according to chief executive, Tara McCarthy. 

"Our young fishmongers have a specialist skill and knowledge that deserves to be recognised. As seafood consumers, our appetite for what is the healthiest protein on the market continues to grow, with sales of €209m last year."

BIM works directly with fishmongers to provide business monitoring and technical training supports "to continue to raise the standards across the retail sector," she added.

Eight fishmongers from Leinster (Dublin city and county); Munster and Connaught/Ulster - four independent and four supermarket - will be shortlisted in August to round two which involves in-depth visits and mentoring. The final stages include a skill's test in which all finalists will prepare fish and shellfish dishes within a time limit.

Now in its fourth year, the competition is extensively tested over three rounds of judging (including anonymous visits to shops) to assess the overall premises, the products and the applicant's product knowledge and customer service.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in October.

Prizes include a two-day cookery course at Rick Stein's cookery school in Padstow, Cornwall; funding and a specially commisssioned trophy. BIM will also provide training in advanced product skills and business mentoring.

Current title holder, George Stephens of The Fish Market in Blanchardstown, said winning the competition has been a really positive development for his business.

"The award increased our profile by attracting new customers to our three stores in Mullingar, Blancardstown and Maynooth. As a result of business and training support from BIM, we have developed new products instore that are proving very popular with new and existing customers. It has and continues to be a real boost for me personally, my wife and business partner Anne and our wider team."

Nominations for Ireland's Best Young Fishmonger 2017 must reach BIM by 5pm, April 20, 2016.

Details from www.bim.ie or contact Lorraine O'Byrne on 01 2144 185 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Titanic Quater to display Mew Island Lighthouse optic

Titantic Foundation and the Commissioners of Irish Lights have been awarded a 'first round' pass from the Heritage Lottery Fund for saving, restoring and displaying the old optic from Mew Island Lighthouse - a very rare hyper radial Fresnel lens, in Belfast's Titantic Quarter. 

Mew Island 2

This award, along with support from Ulster Garden Villages, will allow the project to progress to the second stage of the application process. If successful, the optic will be restored and housed in a new interpretive structure resembling a lighthouse lantern, to tell the story of lighthouses, their technical development and their light keepers. 

Read more: Titanic Quater to display Mew Island Lighthouse optic

Sea Gastronomy Fish & Shellfish of the North Atlantic

At 440 pages and weighing over 2kgs, this is no ordinary book on seafood but an encyclopaedic culinary study of the variety of fish and shellfish of the North Atlantic.

Narrated over 12 chapters, this beautifully illustrated publication contains over 200 recipes and information on 120 species. Many familiar, and others less so: Poor cod, Three-bearded rockling, Witch, Starry smooth hound and Lumpsucker, for example, are identified and cooked in dry methods (frying, baking, roasting, grilling, barbecuing and deep-frying or wet methods (poaching, pot-roasting, steaming, sous vide and microwaving.)

Review SEA Gastronomy

Galway, and represents over twenty years of research, cooking, diving and photographing the diversity of fish and shellfish.

Read more: Sea Gastronomy Fish & Shellfish of the North Atlantic

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