Hosted by FLAG South and BIM – Ireland’s seafood development agency – the two-day FARNET ‘Smart Coastal Areas’ seminar aims to output ideas and guidelines on ‘smart’ developments for initiatives, models and ways of working to boost fishing and coastal communities.
The seminar will include presentations on FLAG projects in EU countries that demonstrate smart approaches to rural sustainability and development. Local examples from the region include: Courtmacsherry Community Shop and Schull Bait Bins, both supported by Ireland’s FLAG South.
- Smart Partnerships (creating ‘win-win’ situations between different interest groups)
- Smart Resource Use (optimising local resources and production systems)
- Smart Financing (reaching small-scale beneficiaries: micro-credit etc)
- Smart Services (adapting services to ensure their viability: smart harbours, connecting remote areas, etc)
In 2017, GDP of the Irish seafood sector was estimated at €1.15bn. More than 14,000 people are employed in the sector, many of whom work and live in rural coastal communities.
Fisheries and coastal areas are impacted by factors such as depopulation, ageing, climate change and economic decline; the EU’s European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) was established to support initiatives by local fisheries communities through Community-Led Local Development (CLLD).
FLAGs has access to EMFF funding to implement projects that support sustainable small-scale fisheries and aquaculture production and coastal communities.