Caroline Bocquel, new chief executive of BIM (Bord Iascaigh Mhara), Ireland's seafood development agency.

Bocquel nets job as CEO of Ireland’s seafood development agency

Former corporate services director has been in temporary charge of BIM since November

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Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland’s seafood development agency, has announced the appointment of Caroline Bocquel as its new chief executive.

Bocquel joined BIM as corporate services director in 2021 and has been acting CEO since November 2022. Prior to joining the agency, she held senior executive roles at humanitarian response agency GOAL and Ireland’s Marine Institute. She succeeds Jim O’Toole, who is now chief executive of Bord Bia - The Irish Food Board.

BIM chair, Aidan Cotter, said: “Caroline brings significant drive, experience and insight to her new role that will help take the organisation and Ireland’s seafood industry to the next level of sustainable development and secure its future in the face of major change.

“She is a strong leader with extensive experience and sectoral knowledge, and I look forward to working with her in the coming years.”

Restructuring the sector

Bocquel’s appointment comes at a time when BIM is implementing a range of schemes for industry, with a total value of €265 million under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve, delivering on the recommendations of the Seafood Taskforce.

The aim of these schemes is to develop and restructure the sector, ensuring it is profitable, innovative and sustainable, and to identify opportunities for jobs and enterprises in coastal communities dependent on the sector.

This year will see the launch of new European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund schemes, with a value of €258 m. These funds will be allocated for the management of fisheries, aquaculture, and fishing fleets, and also cover measures such as scientific advice, controls and checks, market intelligence, maritime surveillance and security.

Boosting value creation

Bocquel said: “I am delighted to take on the role of CEO at BIM at this critical time, where the need for innovation and strong leadership has never been more necessary.

“The Irish seafood industry has shown enormous resilience and ingenuity in the face of challenges, turning them into opportunities in many cases. I am confident we can leverage the industry’s skillsets to deliver BIM’s vision to significantly boost value creation of an Irish sustainable seafood sector, across the supply chain, from catch to consumer.

“I look forward to working collaboratively with all stakeholders to deliver on this mission, particularly my colleagues on the senior leadership team, the wider BIM team, and the industry we serve.”

A native of County Louth, Bocquel is a chartered accountant and has a degree in Business and Languages from Technological University Dublin.