-A +A

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) Announce ‘Landmark’ National Seafood Conference

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Seafood Development Agency, today (29th April 2016) announced an exceptional line up of speakers for the ‘BIM National Seafood Conference – Global Insights, Irish Opportunity’ event at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Galway on the 30th June.

This full day conference and networking event will launch the annual Ocean Wealth and SeaFest events that take place in Galway from the 1st – 3rd July and brings together leading experts and global representatives from the national and international seafood and agri-business circuit, government and academia. It offers delegates the opportunity to hear first-hand expert analysis, on the thinking and the policies currently at the forefront of seafood development worldwide.

Moderated by experienced broadcaster and author, Olivia O’Leary; delegates can expect to take away valuable business insights from speakers including Mary Shelman, former Director of the Agribusiness Programme in Harvard Business School, Malcolm Beveridge, Head of Aquaculture, FAO Rome, Jean Jacques VandeHeede, AC Nielsen Europe and Aidan O’Driscoll, Secretary General of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.  

Tara McCarthy, Chief Executive of BIM said; ‘As the global demand for healthy protein continues to increase; seafood is in a unique position. It delivers on every macro driver from health, environment, and quality to convenience. This conference is about creating the long term vision for our seafood industry. It is an opportunity for all our stakeholders from fishermen to processors to play an integral role in shaping the future direction of the industry and that of their own company’

The Conference programme covers presentations and discussions on market intelligence, consumer thinking, the challenges facing the global seafood supply and insight into potential synergies within the Irish seafood sector, among other timely topics.

The afternoon programme offers a range of structured breakout sessions that will facilitate dialogue on transforming knowledge into action and finding workable solutions to today’s pressing challenges. The sessions will focus on the four key priorities for the industry: Sustainability, Competitiveness, Innovation and Skills. Each sector of the industry from fishermen to processors to fish farmers will find a session that appeals and is relevant to their business from ‘Fishing profitably with zero discards’, ‘Repositioning your company and products to maximise value’, ‘Demonstrate sustainability or be locked-out’ and ‘Working in seafood - a career for life’

After a busy and productive event, networking will continue in the evening at the prestigious Maritime Industry Awards in the hotel. The awards aim to recognise excellence across the Maritime Industry and BIM are proud to support two new categories this year – the ‘Seafood Sustainability Award’ and ‘Seafood Business Innovation Award’. To enter and/or attend the Maritime Industry Awards, please visit – the deadline for entries is the 6th May.

Registration for the BIM National Seafood Conference is free but early booking is advised as spaces are limited. To book your place, please visit or


For media enquiries, please contact Hazel Dobbyn, BIM Communications, 01-2144192/087 4190341

Notes to Editor

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Irish Sea Fisheries Board is the Irish State agency with responsibility for developing the Irish Sea Fishing and Aquaculture industries. BIM provides commercially relevant and innovative services to the Irish seafood industry that drive growth opportunities, add value, enhance competitiveness and create jobs in a sustainable, natural resource based industry for the benefit of coastal communities.

Conference Speakers

Mary L. Shelman is a thought leader and strategic pathfinder in the global food and agribusiness sector, working with companies, governments and organizations to diagnose the forces of change shaping the future of the industry. Mary translates these insights into actionable strategy, advising on how best to position businesses for significant growth both within existing and non-traditional markets.

Working with CEO’s of industry-leading firms such as Barilla, Bunge, Domino’s, Fonterra, Kepak, Nestlé, Olam and Yum! China, Mary has authored more than 60 case studies highlighting situations of strategic change and transformational leadership. Her work has been published in Harvard Business Review, Market Leader, and the International Food and Agribusiness Management Review. She is a popular keynote speaker and has taught and presented at conferences in 17 countries.
Mary is the former Director of the Agribusiness Program at Harvard Business School and has served on the boards of Cooksimple, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), Fractal Antenna Systems, RiceTec, Stiftung Furst Lichtenstein and has been awarded the IFAMA Fellowship, in recognition of her contribution to the industry. She has also advised the Irish government on the strategic direction of the country’s food industry, co-authoring the Pathways for Growth report that led to the creation of the world’s first country brand based on sustainability.
A native of Kentucky where she still owns a farm, Mary holds a BS in Chemical Engineering with High Distinction from the University of Kentucky and an MBA with Distinction from Harvard Business School.  

Jean Jacques Vandenheede is the senior retail industry analyst for ACNielsen Europe. In this role, he uses the comprehensive resources of the Nielsen Company globally, with a special focus on Europe to map the changes that affect the grocery retailing industry.

He analyses format realities and the change drivers. He looks in a prospective way towards developing markets. Special attention is given to new developments within formats and channels.

After 36 years with Nielsen, he remains passionate and curious to discover new angles and perspectives to this fascinating chameleon we call the consumer.

The Nielsen Company is the global information and media company with leading positions in more than 100 countries.

Malcolm Beveridge, has a BSc (Hons) in Zoology and a PhD in Ecology from the University of Glasgow, UK. He is currently acting Head of Aquaculture in the Fisheries Department, FAO, Rome. Malcolm served as Director of Aquaculture and Genetics at WorldFish, 2006-2014, prior to which he was Director of the Scottish Government Fisheries Research Services Freshwater Laboratory, Pitlochry. Apart from a year as an FAO Andre Mayer Fellow at the College of Fisheries, University of the Philippines, he was a member of academic staff at the Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling, Scotland 1980 – 2001, where he was appointed Reader in Environmental Research in 2000. He was also a Visiting Research Fellow at Imperial College, University of London (2006-7) and is a Visiting Professor at the University of Stirling.

Aidan O’Driscoll is currently Secretary General of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. As Secretary General, he has wide ranging responsibilities for the development of the Agri-Food Sector including the ambitious Food Wise 2025 report. Mr. O’Driscoll joined the Department of Agriculture and Food in 1977 as an Administrative Officer and was subsequently trained as a Policy Analyst in the Department of Finance. He has served in a variety of posts in the Department including Chief Economist from 1995 to 2001 and Assistant Secretary General from 2001 to January 2015. His most recent responsibilities as Assistant Secretary were for EU Affairs, Economics and Climate Change. Mr. O’Driscoll has worked in Africa and Asia in a variety of roles with FAO, Irish Aid and a private consulting company from 1985 to 1992. He also served in the Irish Embassy, Rome as Agriculture Attaché /Deputy Representative to FAO, WFP and IFAD 1994 – 1995. He was Chairman of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) 2000-2002. Educated in University College, Dublin; Trinity College, Dublin and the University of London (Wye); Mr. O’Driscoll has a BA (Hons) in Economics and Politics, MSc Statistics/Policy Analyst, Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Management and MSc Strategic Management.