UNION Hall was celebrating last week after the seaside village picked up two awards at the first ever BIM National Seafood Awards held in the Clayton Hotel in Dublin.
Stephen Hurley from The Fish Shop in Union Hall won the coveted title of ‘BIM Young Fishmonger of the Year’ for the independent Seafood Specialist category, while DC Fish Ltd, also in Union Hall, won ‘Fishing Enterprise of the Year’ in the Competitiveness category.
Stephen has worked at Glenmar Shellfish / The Fish Shop in Union Hall for the past 10 years and he prides himself on stocking locally-caught fish and shellfish in store.
On any given day he has upwards of 25 different species of fish and shellfish for sale and he is in a unique position as he is on first-name terms with the skippers and crews and can tell a customer exactly where their fish was caught, and who caught it.
DC Fish, also in Union Hall, is owned and managed by the Deasy Family and employs nine staff. They operate a successful seafood business model that offers a ‘frozen at sea’ product range to domestic retail and export-driven wholesale seafood businesses and has an annual turnover of over €1.8m.
The company has also formed a partnership with a local businessman and opened the Fish Seafood Deli in Rosscarbery which business employs 11 full-time staff and 10 part-time staff.
‘The BIM National Seafood Awards provide us with the opportunity to celebrate the positive contribution of this valuable indigenous industry and recognise excellence and leadership across this diverse sector,’ said Clonakilty woman Tara McCarthy, chief executive of BIM, and incoming chief at Bord Bia.
‘It is an exciting time to work in seafood and the high standard demonstrated by our winners and all of our finalists bodes well for the future as we collectively aim to achieve growth as set out in the Government’s Food Wise 2025 plan.’
Out of 38 finalists shortlisted across the areas of skills, sustainability, innovation and competitiveness, twelve winners received awards for their outstanding contributions to the fishing, fish farming, seafood processing and retail sectors.
BIM also introduced a new brand identity to industry at the event and it claims that this new look for one of Ireland’s longest established State agencies is consistent with its vision for Ireland to become an ‘international leader in high value differentiated seafood products’.