Bid to have French land catches here would create 4,000 jobs
MORE than 4,000 jobs could be created if a plan to persuade nearly 900 French fishing trawlers to land their catches in Ireland is successful, Bord Iascaigh Mhara says.
Representatives of the French trawlers will be met by Agriculture, Food and Marine Minister Simon Coveney in Cork today to see if strategic partnerships can be developed with Irish seafood processors.
BIM believes that for every French vessel continually landing its catch in Ireland, up to five jobs could be created here.
BIM chief executive Jason Whooley said negotiations with French representatives were initiated earlier this year.
Between them, the 850 vessels could potentially save millions of euro in fuel costs by landing their catches in Ireland rather than returning to France to do so, before coming back to fish Irish waters.
It is hoped that the catches could be processed here and then shipped back to France with a higher value-add.
Among those attending today's meetings in Clonakility, Co Cork, is a representative from French retail operation Intermarche, which is part of the Les Mousquetaires symbol group.
Representatives from a number of main Irish fishing ports, including Howth in Dublin and Killybegs in Donegal, are also at today's event.
"Given the number of significant players that are travelling to Ireland, I think it's evident that they see merit in it," Mr Whooley said.