The local seafood industry has received a significant boost following the announcement of major Government funding for Sofrimar Seafood in Kilmore Quay.
A total of €562,035.91 has been allocated to Sofrimar, with €168,610.77 of that figure coming from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Programme (EMFF).
Announcing the investment, the Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine, Michael Creed said the grant was co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union.
Minister Creed said, 'In these very challenging times for business generally, and notably our seafood sector, I am delighted to support Sofrimar in building for the future. With our own economy and European and world markets reopening, we can have optimism again for future prosperity and growth.
'Sofrimar is preparing to grow exports and value because it has the confidence to know that our seafood sector is a high growth sector and that it will resume its long-term growth pattern now that markets are getting over the recent temporary, albeit severe difficulties.'
He said the national strategy is to add value wherever possible to Ireland's seafood products to ensure those products are 'well placed' in the market.
Ireland's EMFF Operational Programme 2014-2020 was adopted by the European Commission in December 2015 and launched in January 2016 by the Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine.
The Programme provides €240m in funding to the seafood sector over the period 2014 to 2020 and is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union.
Based in Kilmore Quay, Sofrimar was founded in 1979. It was named Seafood Exporter of the Year by the Irish Exporters Association in 2007 and 2011.