The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) is inviting experienced organisations to help deliver a £2.3million sustainable development strategy for local fishing communities.
Organisations with experience of the needs of Northern Ireland’s fishing communities can apply to become NI’s Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG). The £2.3million funding will be made available through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund to aid communities in NI where commercial fishing remains a major source of income and provides employment opportunities.
A DAERA spokesperson said: “Over the past number of years, fishing-dependent communities have seen a reduction in the size of their traditional base of fishing, processing and the provision of support services to the local fleets.
“The £2.3million sustainable development strategy provides an excellent opportunity for continued investment in our fishing communities through a bottom-up approach and will help secure employment. The European Commission and the Department recognise the need to continue this community-led local investment which began under the previous European Fisheries Fund Programme. This saw the South East Area Fisheries Local Action Group deliver a sustainable development strategy through financial assistance provided by the Commission and the NI Assembly.”
Applications are now being invited from experienced organisations that are familiar with the needs of NI’s commercial fishing communities and which have a track record in successfully delivering EU funding initiatives and programmes at a local level. Organisations will be required to demonstrate participation of fishing industry, private sector business, public and third sector groups in their proposed FLAG Membership. The closing date for applications is 4.00pm on Friday 8 September 2017.
Commercial fishing, processing and support services are concentrated along the County Down coast from Portavogie in the north to Kilkeel in South Down and therefore it is anticipated that this area will be the primary focus of any new strategy.
Notes to editors:
- Northern Ireland has been allocated €13.78million (10%) of the UK’s European Maritime and Fisheries Fund financial allocation to provide grant support across a range of fisheries and fishing community interests. With €4.58million DAERA match-funding, the total available from the Programme is €18.35million.
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