MORE than 140 jobs will be created in the seafood processing industry.
Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney revealed that 21 companies have made €15.5m of new investment within the sector.
The firms, which are based in Wexford, Dublin, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Louth and Kerry, expect to increase sales of seafood products by nearly 44 million euros by 2015.
The cash injection has been supported by grants of €3.2m under the EU co-funded Seafood Processing Business Investment Scheme.
Mr Coveney said the investment will have a positive effect on the sector.
"This is a very sizeable investment by any standards and particularly so when combined with investment under this scheme over the past two years," he said.
"It demonstrates the confidence in the seafood sector as a high growth area of our economy and of our food industry."
Mr Coveney said the small and medium-sized enterprises undertaking this move represent the future of the seafood industry.
"The new investment involves companies significantly growing their businesses and also diversifying, which will lead to increased profitability and increased employment," he said.
"The investment also builds on the very positive announcements made earlier this week in the beef sector and the further development of trade links with China.
"The number of companies participating in the scheme demonstrates the willingness of the sector to invest to meet the strong global demand for our seafood."
And up to 40 new jobs are to be created in Co Tipperary by medical diagnostics company, Technopath with a €3m investment, it was also announced today.