Chairman, Irish Salmon Growers’ Association (ISGA)

Damien O’Keeffe

Damien O'Keeffe small

Damien O’Keeffe is chairman of the board of the Irish Salmon Growers’ Association Ltd. Damien is a full time fish farmer, working in Leinster on freshwater rearing of trout. With operations in Kilkenny and Wicklow, Goatsbridge Trout Farm Ltd are one of the highest profile aquaculture producers in Ireland, supplying premium products at home and abroad.

Damien, originally from east Cork, is a UCC graduate in Zoology and has worked in research and production of fish in Scotland, Ghana and Ireland. Experienced in several different production methods (RAS, Tank flow through, pond culture and various hatchery techniques), Live feed- Rotifer and Artemia production and enrichment, algae production and many fin-fish species including Tilapia, Atlantic Cod, Turbot, Halibut, Dover Sole, Pollack, Haddock, Whiting, Wrasse, Salmon, Hake etc.

Damien’s role as a manager brings him into contact with regulators and decision makers at all levels and he is responsible for ongoing development and improvement of systems and production within his company.

Chairman, Irish Shellfish Association (ISA)

Michael Mulloy

Michael Mulloy

Michael Mulloy is chairman of the Executive Committee of the Irish Shellfish Association. He is based in Westport, Co. Mayo and owns Blackshell Farm in Clew Bay.

Michael began mussel farming in 1983 and has long experience in providing marine services to the finfish and shellfish industry around the coast. He has served on numerous committees at local and national level for the industry, including the Ministerial Aquaculture Forum.

Apart from producing mussels, Michael now also produces the New Zealand style biodegradeable cotton rope used by the vast majority of farmers today in the Irish industry.

Executive IFA Aquaculture

Richie holds an M.Sc. in Science Communication and is a graduate of Communications Studies at Dublin City University.  He trained as a journalist and worked in IFA’s press office from 1990 to 1996

Richie has worked for 18 years on behalf of the Irish aquaculture sector, beginning with salmon and overseeing the addition of the Irish Shellfish Association to IFA membership in the 1990s. Richie is a former board member of the Marine Institute, he chaired the EU advisory committee on aquaculture from 2001 to 2011 and is current President of the European Shellfish Federation. He is also a former member of the Irish Council of the NUJ and has been involved in a range of voluntary work for organisations and community groups around the coast and in his home county of Leitrim.

About IFA Aquaculture

  • IFA Aquaculture represents the 250 companies involved in freshwater, marine finfish and shellfish aquaculture in Ireland. To become a member you must require an aquaculture licence to farm your products.
  • IFA Aquaculture also has associate members involved in supply of inputs and sales as well as processing and alternative enterprises such as seaweed.
  • The main committees are the Irish Shellfish Association and the Irish Salmon Growers’ Association
  • The most important issues include aquaculture licencing, removing bureacratic backlogs, meeting Harvest 2020 production targets, releasing acapital grant aid for producers, comunications, food safety issues and EU legislation on the environment and water quality.
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