Fisheries Areas Network

Good Practice Short Story

Boosting a seaweed business on the Irish offshore Islands

West FLAG supports business development among some of the most marginalised and remote communities in the country, including offshore islands and native Irish speaking communities where a seaweed company has grown from one to four employees.
FLAG West has assisted the transition of Blath na Mara from a source of supplementary income for one person to a viable business now employing four full-time people. As part of a small island community this is hugely valuable to the sustainability of our island’s economy and on a personal level has facilitated the return of a young family to the island.
Jenny O´Halloran, Blath Na Mara

Blath na Mara is a company which hand harvests wild seaweed on the un-spoilt shores of Inis Mór, an island on the Irish Atlantic coast. Its main product was dried organic milled or whole seaweed, brought to market wholesale. The heritage and quality of the product, however, offered opportunities to reach new markets and in particular satisfy the expectations of a progressive customer base. Indeed, their specialised drying process ensures the seaweed retains its important nutrients, providing customers with a series of health benefits as well as a premium taste.

The FLAG provided funding and expertise in a variety of areas, including enterprise and marketing, in order to grasp such opportunities. It also helped to put the company in touch with other stakeholders in the area. This has allowed for the upgrading of the existing premises and processing facility which will increase the quality of Blath na Mara’s product range while providing scope for new product development. It has also encouraged this family company to grow a new phase of the business, focusing on food and educational tourism for seaweed on the Aran Islands.

It's hoped that this can be a good example of business development in an isolated area for the whole FLAG area and the rest of the country.


Budget €80 000
EU contribution €40 000
  • EMFF: €40 000
Other public contribution €40 000
  • National: €40 000
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