March 30, 2015

      

'Ireland's seafood sector to grow to US$1.1 billion in value by 2020'

  

   

Ireland's seafood industry is forecast to increase to €1 billion (US$1.087 billion) in terms of value in five years' time, helped by a new €241-million ($262-million) investment programme, said Simon Coveney, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, according to the Irish Times.

 

The investment (€147 million, or $159.7 million, provided by the EU, and €94 million, or $102 million, by the State) will be poured into fish farming, implementation of the phased ban on discarding fish at sea, and support for "Leader-type" fisheries action groups in local areas, among others.

 

Of the total fund, some €42 million will go to the new Common Fisheries Policy including support for the new discards ban and the implementation of measures to develop more selective fishing gear, while €41 million ($44.4 million) is allocated for marketing, processing and "adding value" to the sector, and €30 million ($32.5 million) for aquaculture.

 

Inshore fisheries will receive €6-million ($6.5 million) funding; coastal communities through fisheries local action groups, €12 million ($13 million); and support for the implementation of EU environmental law, €10 million ($10.8 million).

 

Aquaculture, which he described as "starved of funding", would definitely get added boost from the new investment programme, Coveney said, adding that seafood export value had grown by 70% in the past five years.

 

The new seafood programme will still have to be adopted by the European Commission.

 

Covey said, "Now is the time for criticism and comment", referring to the public consultation period, which ends on May 1.

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