An award for export achievement and new figures showing growth in the value of Irish farmed seafood show the potential for the sector to contribute to economic recovery and sustainability, according to the IFA.
Congratulating Ireland’s largest salmon farming company, Marine Harvest Ireland on the award by Irish Exporters Association of “Seafood Exporter of the Year 2010”, IFA’s Aquaculture section said it proved the importance of seafood production to the economy and that the increase in farmed fish exports in 2009 showed the potential of the sector for further growth.
Latest figures from An Bord Iascaigh Mhara on the value of Irish salmon farming show a boost of almost 40% in 2009 to farm gate income of 65 million euro. This is largely due to increased prices and positive marketing efforts by the industry.
Executive Secretary of IFA Aquaculture, Richie Flynn, said the IEA award was a tribute to the hard work of Marine Harvest staff in Donegal, Mayo, Cork and Kerry. “It is now time for government, its agencies and departments to recognize the economic potential of marine farming and seafood and provide the regulatory framework for a successful and sustainable industry. It is also vital that the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food secures a capital aid scheme for 2011 to attract inward investment, improve efficiencies and implement environmentally friendly development on Irish fish and shellfish farms.”