July 19, 2013


Ireland to invest US$10.5 million in boosting seafood sector



Ireland's fishing sector is to be injected with EUR2.4 million (US$3.2 million) in grant aid, which after being enhanced by private capitals, will amount to over EUR8 million (US$10.5 million) to benefit twenty five companies on coastal areas in Kerry, Dublin, Cork, Galway, Wexford, Mayo and Donegal.


The announcement of the new investments was made by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney at the launch of Bord Iascaigh Mhara's (BIM) strategy for the seafood sector 2013-17 called 'Capturing Ireland's share of the global seafood opportunity', a project which will aim at generating 1,200 new jobs and will boost the sales to a total value of EUR1 billion (US$1.3 billion). This will be achieved by building scale and encouraging competitiveness among the companies.


At the ceremony, Coveney commented that, "Processing is a high growth area in Ireland's seafood sector and has successfully targeted new business opportunities in markets like China, Russia and Africa. Overall exports were valued at EUR517 million (US$680 million) in 2012, an increase of 20% on 2012. This EUR8 million (US$10.5 million) investment by the industry represents a very significant funding commitment by processing companies and government to the seafood sector and underpins the confidence of new joint venture partnerships which were significant contributors to the increase in the value of Irish seafood exports in 2012," the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine reported.


The Minister also remarked that, "The geographic spread of the companies receiving the grant aid is testament to the success of the Seafood Processing Business Investment Scheme and the innovative and creative developments happening in seafood generally."

In addition, BIM's Chairman Kieran Calnan stated that, "In our new strategy, BIM aquaculture proposals are grounded in Ireland's ideal position to take advantage of a major opportunity presented by the massive projected growth in global fish consumption. With quotas and natural constraints limiting the amount of wild fish catches available to meet this need, the majority of the additional supply will have to come from sustainable fish farming. Informed market analysts predict a 50% increase by 2020 in the two million tonnes of farmed salmon which are currently produced annually. Sustainable fish farming, when regulated and managed correctly, provides valuable employment, investment and revenue amounting to a 78% increase in volume of production by 2020, a figure which BIM is well placed to help Irish industry deliver on through its new strategy."


The ever-growing fish demand will mean Ireland will benefit from the development and expansion of aquaculture, a pivotal area of growth in this project, in particular the Irish farmed salmon.


Coveney added that, "The Irish Seafood sector is currently in expansionary mode, it is a growth industry. I believe that through the type of investment supports and strategic plan announced today, the Government can assist Irish seafood processing companies to scale up, diversify further and innovate as they develop new markets, enhancing profitability and job creation prospects into the future."


This article is made possible through the contribution of Gabriela Raffaele and www.fis.com.

Video >

Follow Us