Catch of the day for Ireland’s seafood industry!

Group shot of all winners with Tara McCarthy, BIM CEO,; Kieran Calnan, BIM chairman and Howley family (BIM Lifetime Achievement Award) (Photo credit: Paul Sherwood)

Bord Iascaigh Mhara announces winners of the Inaugural National Seafood Awards



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18 November 2016

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The winners of the first ever BIM National Seafood Awards were announced last night by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland’s seafood development agency.

In total, 38 finalists were shortlisted across the areas of skills, sustainability, innovation and competitiveness for the gala awards ceremony held at at the Clayton Hotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin.

Twelve winners received awards for their outstanding contributions to the fishing, fish farming, seafood processing and retail sectors at the ceremony officially opened by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed.

Outlining the rationale behind the awards, BIM’s CEO Tara McCarthy said: “The Irish seafood sector contributes €1 billion in GDP to our economy and employs over 11,000 people predominantly in our coastal regions.” The awards ceremony is therefore an opportunity to celebrate the sector’s positive contribution as it “collectively aim[s] to achieve growth as set out in the Government’s Food Wise 2025 plan.”

Included in the list of winners are two talented young fishmongers; Stephen Hurley from The Fish Shop, Union Hall, Co. Cork and Eimantas Zvirblis from Donnybrook Fair, Malahide, Co. Dublin who have won the coveted title of BIM Young Fishmonger of the Year (Independent Seafood Specialist) and (Supermarket Seafood Counter).

The full list of winners from the first ever BIM National Seafood Awards are:

Category: Skills

  • Student of the Year: Barry Shaw (Killybegs, Co. Donegal)
  • Young Fishmonger of the Year (Independent Seafood Specialist): Stephen Hurley, The Fish Shop, Glenmar Shellfish, Union Hall, West Cork
  • Young Fishmonger of the Year (Supermarket Seafood Counter): Eimantas Zvirblis, Donnybrook Fair, Malahide, Co. Dublin

Category: Sustainability

  • Responsible Fisherman of the Year: Jim Connolly, Supreme II, Clogherhead. Co. Louth
  • Aquaculture Environmental & Social Responsibility Award: Blackshell Farm, Newport, Co. Mayo
  • Green Processor of the Year: Island Seafoods Ltd, Killybegs, Co. Donegal

Category: Innovation

  • Best New Fishing Practice: Foyle Warrior Ltd, Greencastle, Co. Donegal
  • Innovation in Aquaculture: Dungarvan Shellfish Ltd, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford
  • Innovation in Seafood Processing: Oceanpath/Dunn’s of Dublin (Howth, Co. Dublin) & Goatsbridge Trout Farm (Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny) 

Category: Competitiveness:

  • Fishing Enterprise of the Year: DC Fish Ltd (Union Hall, Cork)
  • Aquaculture Enterprise of the Year: Kush Seafarms Ltd, Kenmare, Co. Kerry
  • Seafood Enterprise of the Year: Sofrimar, Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford

The BIM Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to the family of “a true leader in his field”, the late Martin Howley. “Martin exemplified everything you need to be a great leader,” said. BIM chairman Kieran Calnan. “He led by example starting as a fisherman in Killybegs in the 1970s rising to become a pioneering mackerel skipper then a successful businessman and a great leader in the fishing industry. His passion, energy and innovative spirit were a unifying and driving force.”

BIM also introduced a new brand identity to the industry at the event. The new look for one of Ireland’s longest established state agencies is grounded in BIM’s plans to enable progress in the seafood sector under four key priorities – skills, sustainability, innovation and competitiveness.



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