October 10, 2006
Ireland to launch Seafood Week to rejuvenate industry
Ireland is launching Seafood Week this week to rejuvenate the island's seafood industry.
The seafood industry has been beset with rules and regulations in the past decade but with a positive approach and lateral thinking, it would be possible to achieve a thriving future for Northern Ireland's seafood industry, said Malcolm Emery, chief executive of Northern Ireland Seafood.
Although quotas exist for cod and whitefish on top of other environmental regulations, Ireland still has an abundance of other stocks, Emery said.
An editorial in the Belfast Telegraph also pointed out that even though the island has an abundance of prawn, the local population is not consuming enough of them and 80 percent of it is exported. Hence the need to raise Seafood Week awareness at home.
The Irish seafood sector employs around 1,600 people and is worth GBP100 million (US$186.7 million) a year.
To work towards sustainable fishing, The Responsible Fishing Scheme has been set up to identify products caught locally.
The scheme would involve the awarding of a quality mark which represents responsible fishing and processing. Initial audits of the Northern Ireland fleet are underway and most would be accreditated by early 2007.
Northern Ireland's processing sector consists of mostly small to medium sized enterprises and are family-owned and operated.