The Increasing Value Of Fish Farming

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
19 October 2007, at 1:00am

IRELAND - Mr John Browne TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (DAFF) today received the Status of Aquaculture Report - 2006

"Even though the Irish aquaculture industry is modest in world terms, it is an important economic contributor in rural areas."

Minister Browne

at a regular meeting of the Aquaculture Forum of DAFF. Minister Browne said the value of fish and shellfish from Irish fish farms rose in 2006 by 13% over 2005 figures, from €110.2 million to €124.6 million. This figure is just short of the all-time peak value for Irish aquaculture production of €125 million, which was achieved in 2002 in spite of the fact that in 2006 production tonnage actually dipped by 8% to 57,422 tonnes.

Minister Browne said the rise in value in the sector was due to a dramatic increase in the price of farmed shellfish (29%) and a stable price for farmed finfish, such as salmon and trout. Exciting developments in 2006 include the farming of cod, perch, sea urchins, abalone and even seahorses on Irish fish and shellfish farms.

“The growing world market for fish and shellfish, coupled with an increasing consumer appreciation of the health benefits of seafood and pressure on wild stocks to supply, means that aquaculture will be called on more and more to meet demand,” said Minister Browne at the launch of the report. “Even though the Irish aquaculture industry is modest in world terms, it is an important economic contributor in rural areas. Villages in Donegal, Mayo, Galway, Cork and Kerry now derive a significant portion of their incomes from farming the sea.”

The report is a joint collaboration between the three main state agencies involved in the development, monitoring and scientific support of the fish and shellfish farming industry in Ireland - An Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Marine Institute and Taigdhe Mara Teo. It gives a detailed analysis of the Irish aquaculture industry in 2006 with sections on wide variety of subjects, from production and employment to research and development to quality and monitoring. Special sections on the implications of Sea Change - A Maritime Knowledge, Research and Innovation Strategy for Ireland 2007 - 2013 and the Cawley Report on the fishing industry - Steering a New Course are also included.

Copies of “Aquaculture Status Report 2006” - the fourth report since the series began in 2003 - are available from BIM and the Marine Institute.