The winners of the BIM National Seafood Awards 2018 were announced this Tuesday 27th at a fabulous gala dinner and award ceremony in Dublin’s stunning Christ Church Cathedral. The biennial awards are dedicated to recognising the achievements of individuals and businesses revolutionising the Irish seafood sector. As a predominantly female team here at Easy Food, we were delighted to see the role of women within the Irish seafood sector especially celebrated this year.
Veteran seafood professional Margaret Downey-Harrington, from Castletownbere, Co. Cork, was been honoured for her contribution to the Irish seafood industry with the BIM Lifetime Achievement Award. Margaret’s career has spanned more than 60 years and she is a founding member of Mná na Mara, the first national network for women in fisheries.
BIM Best Student Kate Dempsey completed a higher diploma in Aquabusiness in IT Carlow earlier this year. She is Director of Irish Mussel Seed Company and has recently established an aquaculture analytics company.
“My interest in aquaculture and seafood production really comes from a history of fishing. I’m from a fishing family in Arklow. I went to college and studied law and then came back home and realised there was really very little left in terms of activity in the harbour that I was from. And so I decided I would create a new company and a new business to promote seafood development on the east coast. I want to see coastal communities thrive, particularly rural communities like the one that I’m from.”
The Awards included four categories to reflect BIM’s strategic priorities; Innovation, Sustainability, Competitiveness and Skills. Other winners on the night included the following:
Best in Aquaculture Innovation: Moyasta Oysters Ltd, Kilrush, Clare
Best in Fishing Innovation: Galway Bay Inshore Fishermen’s Assoc, Bohermore, Galway
Best in Processing Innovation: Ocean Veg Ireland Ltd, Ballycastle, Antrim
Best in Sustainable Aquaculture: Marine Harvest Ireland, Letterkenny, Donegal
Best in Sustainable Fishing: Alex Crowley, MFV Emma Lou T450, Cahersiveen, Kerry
Best in Sustainable Processing: Conemara Seafoods, Westport, Mayo.
Aquaculture Enterprise of the Year: Bells Isle Seafoods Ltd, Donegal Town, Donegal
Fishing Enterprise of the Year: McBride Fishing Company Ltd, Letterkenny, Donegal
Processing Enterprise of the Year: Atlantis Seafoods Ltd, Rosslare Road, Co. Wexford
Best Seafood Retailer (multiple): Dunnes Stores, Swords, Dublin
Best Seafood Retailer (independent): Galway Bay Seafoods Ltd., New Docks, Galway.
The trophies for this year’s awards carried the theme of sustainability and were made using the fish sculptures that featured in the BIM Sustainable Seafood Garden, which won overall prize at Bloom earlier this year.