Ambitious Three Year Development Strategy For Irish Seafood Industry

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Ambitious Three Year Development Strategy For Irish Seafood Industry

Ambitious Three Year Development Strategy For Irish Seafood Industry
July 26
11:34 2010

An ambitious development strategy for the Irish seafood sector has been unveiled. The three year strategy, drafted in consultation with the Irish seafood industry and entitled ‘Delivering on the Potential of Irish Seafood 2010-2012’, will be delivered by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Irish Sea Fisheries Board. The detailed plan sets out over 70 detailed actions under four key themes that underpin the opportunities for the Irish seafood sector including business development and innovation, knowledge and technology transfer, skills development and environment and sustainability.

The strategy is geared to improve the sector’s performance during what is a difficult and challenging time for the Irish seafood sector and will assist industry through programmes of financial assistance, skills development, enhanced environmental compliance, product differentiation and labelling, new product development and innovation and improved commercial practices.

According to BIM, the prospects for seafood, both at a global and European level, are very favourable, especially in the medium to long term. With a growing world population, it is estimated that an additional 30 million tonnes of seafood will needed by 2030 to meet the increasing demand and this offers great potential and opportunity for Irish seafood companies.

Key Actions

Some of the key actions in the strategy aim to capitalise on this growth potential through greater access to routes to market. One such action is the facilitation of a seafood distribution hub at an appropriate location on the European mainland to enable seafood companies greater access to trade buyers and distribution links.

Pictured (left to right): Brendan Smith, TD, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food; Jason Whooley, chief executive of BIM; Rose McHugh, chairman of BIM; and Donnachadh Walsh, project manager of De Brun Iasc Teo.

Greater differentiation of seafood is also a key priority for BIM to enable seafood producers to add value and identify their produce as Irish in origin in order to compete effectively against cheaper imported produce. BIM intends to achieve this through the widespread use of BIM’s certified eco-labels. 100 vessels and 150 fish farms will be covered by environmental management systems by the end of 2012, this will mean that some 40,000 tonnes of Irish caught or farmed seafood will be produced in an environmentally friendly fashion. This differentiated of 40,000 tonnes of seafood will be worth approximately Eur120m.

Further market-led differentiation will be achieved through BIM’s Seafood Development Centre, which will enable companies to produce new seafood products which meet the changing needs of consumer and trade customers. Another area that represents real potential is aquaculture. BIM intends increasing aquaculture production capacity by 10,000 tonnes worth an estimated Eur18m in new sales.

Other key targets to be achieved by 2012 include:

* The creation of 600 additional jobs across the Irish seafood sector,

* An additional Eur50 million in value added seafood sales,

* Delivery of 3,500 training places to the seafood sector, in over 30 coastal locations annually.

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