The plant, due to become fully operational by the 1 January 2017, will produce valuable high-end marine protein for human consumption.
The Minister continued: “This facility will become a ‘game-changer’ in the seafood sector. It will position Killybegs and Ireland as a global leader in supply and research around new products and benefits from protein, oils and calcium associated with the sea. This new processing facility arises from the new boarfish fishery which was developed by Irish fishermen over the past few years. In 2012, the EU introduced quota shares for the stock and Ireland secured 70 per cent share of the fishery and has a quota of 88,000 tonnes in 2014. I am delighted that the new food ingredients project will maximise the value of a significant part of this fishery and centre the associated economic activity and jobs in the heartland of Ireland’s fishing community."
“These plans are at an early stage and discussions are underway to finalise the full funding of the project. I look forward to the successful conclusion of these negotiations and to a formal announcement of this project in Donegal. KFO Chief Executive, Sean O’Donoghue, has invited me to Donegal to announce specific details of the project on 9th May which I’m very pleased to accept subject to successful conclusion of the on-going discussions”
The Minister made his comments during his opening address at the BIM National Seafood Conference in Dublin. The focus of this conference, attended by seafood business leaders, global industry thinkers and world renowned fisheries experts is ‘Capturing Ireland’s share of the global seafood opportunity’.
Minister Coveney continued: “We all need to challenge our thinking and inform ourselves of best international practice so that Ireland will be able to position itself to maximise its share of the global seafood opportunity. Ireland may currently be a small player in the context of world seafood, however, given the huge resources around our coast it is clear that we should have major ambitions for sustainable growth of our seafood sector. This Conference will contribute to making these ambitions a reality and the Killybegs food ingredients projects shows what can be done”.