Seafood strategy to boost Irish jobs and exports
The creation of 600 jobs, an additional €50m in value added seafood sales and greater differentiation of 40,000 tonnes of Irish seafood products worth €120m are among the key points in a new three-year strategy for the seafood sector.
The strategy was launched last week by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Minister for Agriculture Brendan Smith, and Minister of State with responsibility for Fisheries, Sean Connick TD.
The Irish Seafood National Programme to 2013 was also unveiled at the event, which took place in BIM's offices in Clonakilty, Co Cork.
IFA's aquaculture section welcomed the announcement but the organisation pointed out that the Government's failure to meet EU rules regarding Habitats Directive areas disqualified 80pc of Irish small businesses from the scheme.
IFA aquaculture executive secretary Richie Flynn said there was a massive amount of work to be done to re-establish Ireland as a major seafood producer in Europe.
"Geographically, environmentally, economically and socially we can be world seafood leaders," Mr Flynn said
"Jobs, exports and quality are they key issues which the Government must focus on, yet we have had to wait since 2007 for this programme to be announced because of the apathy of Government departments towards the seafood industry.