Addressing the IFA Aquaculture conference in Westport in Mayo today, IFA President Tim Cullinan said aquaculture has a vital part to play at a time of the greatest need for sustainable food production, through the development of sustainable Irish aquaculture.
“This must be underpinned by a commitment to implement all recommendations of the Independent Aquaculture Licensing Review and the implementation of suitable policy to develop the Irish aquaculture sector laid out in the ‘Seafood Taskforce Recommendations’.”
Irish aquaculture is worth €180m to the Irish economy, providing almost 2,000 direct jobs and contributing to 8,500 indirect jobs in the seafood sector, sustaining coastal communities.
The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and the Marine Charlie McConalogue will also address the conference. Tim Cullinan said attendees would be looking for firm commitments from the Minister.
The IFA President said appropriate funding must also be made available to provide the resources necessary to make a viable, sustainable Irish aquaculture sector a reality.
This is the first time members of all aquaculture sectors have been able to meet in person in two years.
Earlier in the day, Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) hosted its bi-annual mussel industry workshop at the same venue including presentations and discussions which addressed the priorities of the upcoming European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF).
IFA Aquaculture is focused on providing strong industry representation nationally and internationally, supporting the improvement and development of the Irish aquaculture industry and promoting positive aspects of Irish aquaculture.
IFA Aquaculture is fully supported by the IFA along with the benefits and supports provided by the organisation and the aquaculture sector is regarded on a par with every other primary food production sector – as important for rural Ireland, for the economy and the future of our food industry.
IFA believes in the future of rural coastal communities in Ireland, and sectors such as aquaculture are imperative for the vitality of these communities.