Leading scallop producer and shellfish industry representative for many years, Jerry Gallagher from Carrigart, Co Donegal was elected the new chairman of the Irish Shellfish Association at a meeting of the new Executive Committee in the Irish Farm Centre, Dublin yesterday (Wednesday). The ISA is a part of the Irish Farmers’ Association since 1997.
Jerry Gallagher is a well known and respected shellfish producer throughout the industry in Ireland and abroad, having held the position as ISA chair in the 1990s and was at the forefront in leading the Association into IFA in 1997 with the help of oyster producer, Jim Harty from Dungarvan. Jerry has an impressive CV including long experience in dealing with politicians, officials and working with fellow EU shellfish producers on a number of important research and policy projects over the years.
The IFA President, John Bryan, congratulated Jerry Gallagher on his election and wished him every success on leading the 45 million euro industry into the future.
Jerry Gallagher said, “ It is vital that the producers of Irish oysters, mussels, scallops, clams and other farmed shellfish stick together in these challenging times. We have a responsibility to our families, investors and customers to keep the quality of our product as high as possible, to promote Irish seafood and to prevent any degradation of inshore water quality. We will work closely with our colleagues in Europe through EMPA to ensure a level playing pitch and watch movements in Brussels closely”
“At home, I will be reminding Minister Coveney that he needs to keep the pressure on to process licences for our members, many of who have been waiting for up to five years for responses to their renewals. I believe he has the best interests of the industry at heart but I would emphasise that now is the time to attract investment, increase marketshare and create jobs and exports from coastal communities. I would also make clear to the Minister that aquaculture is a young and developing industry and we are learning new things about our stocks and the environment on a daily basis – and the regulation of our sector should accommodate and reflect that evolution.”