Why developing aquaculture is important for the Irish economy, jobs, exports and rural communities
Aquaculture is a diverse and constantly developing food sector. Farming the sea, which covers two-thirds of the world’s suface, is a key strategic goal for the global economy to meet growing populations, scarce resources and overcome fertility and output issues in traditional commodity sectors. At a national level, exporting aquaculture goods, whether as raw material or value added product, adds to Ireland’s balance of payments and enhances the basket of food products from the country on foreign markets. At local level, jobs and economic activity created by sea and freshwater farming are vital, especially in the current economic climate. Areas where fish and shellfish farming takes place tend to be in less-favoured and isolated areas with very few alternative opportunities, thereby helping to keep otherwise vulnerable coastal and rural communities alive.
Statistics, reports and information on world aquaculture from Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations
The World Bank’s resource page for fisheries and aquaculture and report on the potential for fish and shellfish farming
The current EU-wide Strategy to develop Aquaculture in Europe
Ireland’s strategy to increase food production - Food Harvest 2020 – including a doubling of output from fish and shellfish farming as outlined in the background document on fisheries development