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Minister Creed Announces €12 million EMFF Funding for 7 Fisheries Local Action Groups

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D. today announced €12 million funding under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) Operational Programme to seven Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs) recently selected as part of a competitive process under the community led local development element of the €240 million EMFF Operational Programme.  The funding is 50% financed by the EU.


Coastal areas of County

EMFF Allocation

South West FLAG


€1.53 m


Galway, Clare

€1.80 m

Northwest FLAG

Mayo, Sligo

€1.50 m

North FLAG


€1.95 m

South FLAG


€1.98 m

Northeast FLAG

Louth, Meath, Dublin

€1.56 m

Southeast FLAG

Wicklow, Wexford, Waterford

€1.68 m



€12 m

 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”.


Note for Editors


The EMFF Operational Programme was launched in January 2016.  The Programme provides €240m in funding to the seafood sector (fisheries, aquaculture and seafood processing) over the period 2014 to 2020. The Programme is co-funded by the Exchequer and the EU.

Following an Expression of Interest Process in early 2016, Minister Creed announced the 7 successful FLAG groups on 30 August 2016. The FLAGs initiative is similar to LEADER under the Rural Development Programme, but this EMFF initiative focuses development funding specifically on fisheries and aquaculture areas. The FLAGs initiative is closely aligned to the Minister’s initiatives to support inshore fisheries through the Inshore Fisheries Forums initiative. 

Under the EMFF Programme, the aim of the FLAG initiative is too “focus on promoting innovative approaches in fisheries and aquaculture areas to create growth and jobs in those areas, in particular by adding value to fishery and aquaculture products and diversifying the local economy towards new economic activities, in particular those offered by ‘blue growth’ and the broader maritime sectors”.

These 7 FLAG groups are presently drafting their Local Development Strategies, which will be approved later in 2016.  FLAGs will award grants to local actors in their respective areas consistent with their respective FLAG Local Development Strategies.

Allocations to the FLAGs were calculated using a methodology that took account of the relative importance of fisheries and aquaculture to each FLAG area, but that ensured a minimum level of funding to each FLAG area.  From the €12m budget available, an initial €1m was allocated to each FLAG. The €5m balance of funding available was distributed on the basis of 50% (€2.5m) according to their relative share of total inshore fisheries vessels and 50% (€2.5m) according to their relative share of total employment in fisheries, aquaculture and seafood processing.  Allocations were rounded to the nearest €10,000.

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Seafood Development Agency, assists FLAGs to deliver this programme through administering supports via grant-aid, training and on the ground facilitation, with dedicated regional FLAG coordinators in each region. To date, the programme has delivered over €1.5 million via direct and indirect investment to our coastal communities funding over 186 projects. BIM has facilitated the establishment of 7 FLAG Groups for the new EMFF Programme following a detailed expression of interest phase and is working directly with each FLAG to assist them to develop local Development Strategies in November 2016, with the roll out of projects in early 2017. For more information on the FLAG programme please visit

View this Press Release as a PDF:  DAFMPR 148/16 (pdf 557Kb) 

Date Released: 01 November 2016