IFA’s Aquaculture section has welcomed two new studies published today which show a jump in seafood consumption and greater demand for a consistent supply of farmed fish and shellfish. A new Eurobarometer survey shows that Irish consumers buy fish more regularly than the EU average – confirming an upward trend in consumption identified by Bord Bia – and are committed to buying fish of Irish origin.
A second study by the EU’s Market Observatory for Fisheries and Aquaculture Products (EUMOFA) also published today shows that Irish consumers put a higher value on the health benefits of eating fish than the EU average and relied more heavily on the encouragement of friends and family to eat fish than on the media, internet or campaign groups.
Again, the EUMOFA study confirms an increasing consumption trend in Ireland and strong loyalty by consumers to Irish-origin product. The EUMOFA study which looked into retailers’ strategies and national campaigns promoting seafood consumption, notes the growing importance of farmed seafood products in the EU market, given the need for retailers to ensure a stable supply.
Reacting to the studies, IFA Aquaculture Executive, Richie Flynn, said “There is a lot to be considered in both pieces of research but the message is clear – consumers are buying more fish and want a consistent supply which only the farmed sector can provide. This is simple and logical analysis is fantastic news for coastal communities in Ireland in terms of jobs and exports, but only if we have a fit for purpose licencing regime to ensure a year round supply of quality aquaculture products. Minister Creed’s recently announced independent review group on aquaculture licencing has got to deliver a system which encourages investment and development in our sector after over a decade of stagnation. The opportunities couldn’t be clearer and her we have the evidence of a strong case for Ireland to take advantage of an open goal”.