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Marine Minister Michael Creed, yesterday (Thursday 31 October) welcomed Government approval for the Agriculture, Forest and Seafood Climate Change Sectoral Adaptation Plan to prepare for the impacts of climate disruption.

“I am very pleased the Agriculture, Forest and Seafood Climate Change Sectoral Adaptation Plan has been approved as part of the Whole-of-Government approach adopted under Climate Action Plan 2019,” he said.

“We have taken a consistent approach to adaptation planning across the Department [of Agriculture, Food and the Marine] and have prepared a single plan covering the agriculture, forest and seafood sector.”

Th minister added: “In addition to reducing our emissions, we must ensure that our food production system is resilient and ready to adapt to future climate risk.”

Minister Creed described the plan approved today as “an important next step in our goal to build a strong and resilient sector that is well placed to take on the challenges and opportunities presented by our changing climate”.

The Adaptation Plan highlights a number of case studies identifying how the sector has and will continue to be impacted by changing weather patterns and steps towards building resilience.

The plan and its associated documents are available on the DAFM website HERE.

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Marine Minister Michael Creed yesterday (Thursday 27 June) helped launch the public consultation process on the draft Climate Change Adaptation Plan for the agriculture, forest and seafood sectors.

“I am very pleased to launch this public consultation on adaptation planning,” said Minister Creed. “We have very much taken a joined-up approach to adaptation planning across the Department [of Agriculture, Food and the Marine] and have prepared a single plan covering the agriculture, forest and seafood sector.”

He added that in addition to reducing our emissions, “we need to ensure that our food production system is resilient and ready to adapt to future climate risk.

“Farmers, landowners and fishermen are very much to the forefront of dealing with the impacts of a changing climate in their everyday activities. However, climate change is not just an issue for the primary producer; it is something that everyone in the production chain needs to consider.

“The Irish agriculture, forest and seafood sector will not only be impacted by changes in climate here at home, but also by climate change globally.”

Andrew Doyle, Minister of State for food, forestry and horticulture, said the plan is “a next step in climate action planning. To successfully deal with the challenges facing us, we need to work together to make the right choices. While there will be challenges, there will also be opportunities.”

The draft Climate Change Adaptation Plan highlights a number of case studies identifying how the sector has and will continue to be impacted by changing weather patterns, and steps towards building resilience.

Feedback on the draft plan and suggestions as to how the department and the sector itself can best prepare to operate in a changing climate should be forwarded before the closing date of Friday 16 August.

Speaking ahead of the Our Ocean Wealth Summit in Cork earlier this month, Tánaiste Simon Coveney said the State is particularly aware of the threat posed by climate change to this island nation.

The subsequently launched Climate Action Plan from the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment has been welcomed in many quarters, but has also been criticised for showing “little ambition”.

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Trade in fish from the EU to Britain will be subject to a range of tariffs in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

But there will be zero tariffs for goods traded from the Republic to Northern Ireland under the temporary measures announced by the UK government this morning (Wednesday 13 March).

It follows the Commons defeat of Theresa May’s latest tabling of her Withdrawal Agreement deal, with MPs set to vote tonight on whether to rule out the no-deal Brexit option.

It is now proposed that should Britain leave the EU without a deal, no new customs checks or controls would be introduced on the border between the Republic and Northern Ireland.

However, tariffs would still apply on goods moving from the EU into the rest of Britain via Northern Ireland.

The new regime zero-rates tariffs across many imports into Britain after a no-deal Brexit. But agri-food products are among the listed exceptions, with a range of rates applying.

Fish and seafood will be subject to a range of import tariffs from 7.5% for frozen monkfish meat (excluding fillets) to 24% for prepared or preserved tuna (excluding bluefin).

A rate of 12% will apply to frozen crustaceans, while frozen fish will be hit with 8% charges, with fillets levied an extra percent.

The Irish Farmers’ Association has already branded the proposals as disastrous for Ireland’s agricultural industry, singling out beef as one of is “most exposed sectors”, as RTÉ News reports.

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Later this week Andrew Doyle, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, will lead Irish participation in Qingdao, China at the Seafood Expo, one of the largest seafood fairs in the world.

Irish seafood exports to China have grown rapidly to over €28 million last year, and there is potential for further growth. Up to 12 Irish seafood companies will be represented on the Origin Green Ireland stand.

This trade visit follows technical meetings to discuss meat market access held by DAFM officials in Beijing on Friday, and the Trade Mission to Indonesia and Malaysia led by Marine Minister Michael Creed, who also addressed the Our Ocean Conference in Bali last Monday.

“Market development, including understanding, accessing and growing new markets, is a key theme of our shared Food Wise 2025 strategy, and an important response to the challenges posed by Brexit,” Minster Doyle said.

Earlier in the week the minister will attend the CIIE (Chinese Import and Export Expo) in Shanghai. This Chinese government-led expo, to be opened by President Xi Jinping, is intended to serve as a showcase for China’s commitment to international trade.

The Irish delegation will be led by Heather Humphreys, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation and will feature a significant presence from Bord Bia and a total of 11 Irish meat and dairy companies.

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#Seafood - Marine Minister Michael Creed has announced more than €1.5 million in grants to 20 seafood enterprises in 10 different counties around Ireland.

The grant awards — under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) Operational Programme for the seafood sector ad totalling €1,532,230 — will support total investment of €4,018,852 in the fisheries, aquaculture and seafood processing sectors.

These grants are co-funded by Government of Ireland and the European Union and subject to terms and conditions.

“It is very encouraging to see a continued increase in investment in aquaculture and these investments will positively contribute to our sustainable growth targets for the sector,” Minister Creed said on launching the latest grants. “ It is also reassuring to see our fisheries cooperatives continuing to invest to position themselves to handle unwanted catches under the new CFP discards ban.

“Investing in our seafood sector increases jobs in rural and coastal communities – a priority for this Government. Furthermore the development of the innovation and value added capacity of the sector is key to mitigating the potential impacts of Brexit.”

The news comes just days after Minister Creed announced €1.5 million in funding for more than 100 coastal-based projects under the EMFF, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

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#Seafood - Marine Minister Michael Creed has called for European Maritime & Fisheries Funding (EMFF) for small to medium enterprises in aquaculture and seafood processing to be continued post-2020.

Addressing the Council of Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers meeting in Luxembourg yesterday (Monday 18 June), the minister said: “Ireland expects to fully spend its 2014-2020 allocation and we foresee increasing investment opportunities and demands for the 2021-2027 period.

“I would like to highlight one particular area of initial concern that we have identified, namely the apparent proposal to restrict EMFF aid for capital investment in aquaculture and seafood processing to financial instruments only. Currently such a restriction applies to large scale operators only.

“The majority of our operators are small or medium enterprises. Depriving them of grant aid would have a very negative impact on our policy objectives to grow scale and add value in our processing and aquaculture sectors.

Minister Creed added: “While we are in favour of continued and increased use of financial instruments, we must continue to have recourse to grant aid where these are most appropriate.”

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A garden that tells the story of how Irish seafood is being sustainably produced to help protect fish stocks, protect the marine environment and develop and sustain fisheries-dependent coastal communities in Ireland has been announced as the overall winner of Bloom 2018.

The Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) Sustainable Seafood Garden was designed by contemporary garden designer Andrew Christopher Dunne, who drew inspiration from his home village of Clogherhead, Co Louth.

The decision was made following a two-day judging process with an independent panel of expert judges. The award was announced as Bord Bia opened its gates in Dublin's Phoenix Park this morning (Thursday 31 May).

BIM chief executive Jim O’Toole said: “All of us in BIM are thrilled that the Sustainable Seafood Garden has received this award today. This is BIM’s first time at Bloom and I want to thank everyone who has been involved in the creation of the garden.

“In particular, I want to applaud the dedication and vision of our garden designer, Andrew Christopher Dunne. From the outset, Andrew understood our aim to celebrate Ireland’s seafood sector in its entirety. He has impressed everyone with his incredible attention to detail to ensure that every plant, tree and feature within the garden is linked to our message of sustainability.”

The impressive marine garden set amongst two piers – old and new – representing the traditional and modern fishing industry includes plants and trees found along Ireland’s coastal areas, including wild flowers, ferns and grasses.

The centrepiece of the garden includes a large water feature with shimmering fish sculptures and an ‘upcycled’ fishing boat where some of Ireland’s leading fishmongers and chefs will be showcasing sustainably sourced seafood throughout the five-day event. The garden also includes furniture and features made from recycled materials.

“This has been a labour of love for me,” said garden designer Dunne. “I’m so proud to get this recognition for the garden. The theme has particular resonance for me as I’ve lived all of my life in a fishing village in Co Louth and I have a keen understanding of the importance of our seafood industry.”

Bloom 2018 officially opens today and runs until Monday 4 June.

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#Seafood - Marine Minister Michael Creed has announced the award of a further €1,324,040 in grants to 19 seafood enterprises in nine different counties under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) Operational Programme for the seafood sector.

The grant awards will support total investment of €3.5 million in 2017. The grants are co-funded by the Exchequer and EU and subject to terms and conditions.

Minister Creed said: “In March, I announced EMFF grant awards of €1.8 million to seafood enterprises. I am delighted to now announce a further €1.3 million in EMFF grant awards to 19 seafood enterprises.

“It is especially welcome to see that aquaculture enterprises are dominating this round of grant awards. Grants of almost €1 million are being offered to 10 aquaculture enterprises. Nine of these will further develop our oyster production, while the other concerns mussels.

Taken together with the earlier awards in March, this means grant offers of nearly €2 million have already been made this year to 18 aquaculture enterprises and are supporting €5 million in aquaculture capital investments.

The minister added that the EMFF Sustainable Aquaculture Scheme “remains opens for applications and I am optimistic that we will see yet more aquaculture projects coming forward as the year progresses.

“The Sustainable Aquaculture Scheme supports capital investments in licensed aquaculture sites to grow our production and mitigate environmental impact. Our National Strategic Plan for Sustainable Aquaculture Development is aiming to sustainably grow our production by 45,000 tonnes and these 2017 projects are welcome contributions towards that target.”

Grant approvals - Sustainable Aquaculture Scheme

Beneficiary

County

Total Investment

Grant Approved

Sofi Shellfish Ltd

Mayo

€68,815

€27,526*

Caragh Clams Ltd

Kerry

€27,354

€10,941

Donegal Oysters Ltd

Donegal

€610,880

€244,352

Donegal Ocean Deep Oysters Ltd

Donegal

€809,553

€323,821

Iasc Sliogagh Dún Garbhain Teoranta

Waterford

€342,176

€186,870

Racoo Shellfish

Donegal

€119,700

€47,880

Coney Island Shellfish Ltd

Sligo

€93,300

€37,320

Turkhead Enterprises Ltd

Cork

€51,317

€20,527

Eoin Carter

Sligo

€84,052

€42,026

Ostre’an Teoranta

Donegal

€62,837

€25,135*

TOTAL

 

€2,269,984

€966,398

*         Subject to confirmation of SME status 

Grant approvals - Seafood Processing Capital Investment Scheme

Beneficiary

County

Total Investment

Grant Approved

Good Fish Processing Ltd

Cork

€505,000

€113,250

Keohane Seafoods Ltd

Cork

€211,948

€57,819

Carr & Sons Seafood Ltd

Mayo

€235,076

€64,446*

TOTAL

 

€952,024

€235,515

*         Subject to confirmation of SME status

Grant approvals - Seafood Scaling & New Market Development Scheme

Beneficiary

County

Total Investment

Grant Approved

Jade Ireland Seafood Ltd

Dublin, Donegal, Cork

€120,000

€60,000

TOTAL

 

€120,000

€60,000

Grant approvals - Seafood Innovation & Business Planning Scheme

Beneficiary

County

Total Investment

Grant Approved

Ocean Run Ltd

Cork

€6,650

€3,325

Biomarine Ingredients Ireland Ltd

Donegal

€40,000

€20,000

Shellfish De La Mer Ltd

Cork

€39,604

€19,802

Rene Cusack Ltd

Limerick

€10,000

€5,000

Goatsbridge Fish Processors Ltd

Kilkenny

€28,000

€14,000

TOTAL

 

€124,254

€62,127

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#SeafoodExports - Food and Marine Minister Michael Creed and his Chinese counterpart have agreed an export certificate which will permit the resumption of live crab exports to the critically important Chinese market.

The Irish seafood sector has been extremely anxious to resolve a number of certification issues which have hampered the trade, and exports are expected to resume in the very near future, according to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM).

The agreement was one of a number of issues settled between Minister Creed and Zhi Shuping, China’s minister with responsibility for the Chinese Quarantine and Inspection Service, during their meeting in Dublin this week at which they signed a landmark protocol for seafood, beef and thoroughbred horse exports.

The meeting on Tuesday (18 April) was the second formal bilateral meeting of the two ministers and comes after Minister Creed’s discussions with Minister Zhi in Beijing last September.

Commenting on the meeting, Minister Creed said: “China is now such an important partner for Ireland on agri-food issues and is our third largest trading partner in this sector,” said Minister Creed on the meeting, adding that the protocol signing “marks the culmination of intensive political, technical and diplomatic engagement with the Chinese authorities.

“I look forward to moving forward with the next steps as quickly as possible”

Irish agri-food exports to China have increased from some €240 million in 2012 to €780 million in 2016, a three-fold increase. This makes China the third largest market for Ireland’s agri-food sector in value terms after the UK and US for last year.

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#Brexit - Marine Minister Michael Creed yesterday (Wednesday 1 February) hosted a sectoral dialogue focused on the seafood sector and the potential impacts it could face from Brexit.

Opening the dialogue, Minister Creed highlighted the importance of ensuring that the Irish seafood sector is protected during Brexit negotiations.

“The key challenge for this Government,” he said, “will be to ensure that fisheries concerns and those of the wider seafood sector are high on the EU agenda and that our sector is not separated from the overall negotiations on a new EU/UK relationship.”

Minister Creed went on to say that for the Irish seafood sector, Brexit “poses a very particular set of serious threats over and above the trade implications common to most sectors.

“That is not to underplay the importance of a good trade outcome for the seafood sector but rather to emphasise the reality that this sector faces challenges that are unique.”

The minister explained that those threats were potential loss of access to fishing grounds in the UK zone and possible attempts by the UK to increase its current quota share at the expense of Ireland and others.

He added that “any changes to existing rights for the Irish and EU catching sector must be resisted strenuously.”

Speaking following the event, which took place in the Radisson Blu Hotel at Dublin Airport, Minister Creed commended the high turnout from the Irish seafood sector.

“Today’s turnout and active engagement by stakeholders from across the sector demonstrates the desire of all to pull together in the effort to protect Irish interests as we enter Brexit negotiations.

“I want to thank all concerned for their very positive contribution to what was a very engaging afternoon, and to assure them once again that their concerns and ideas will be taken on board.”

The sectoral dialogue saw a number of presentations by key sector stakeholders, followed by detailed discussions covering access rights, management of shared stocks, trade and aquaculture issues.

“Today was another important step in the ongoing journey we have all been engaged in since the June referendum in the UK. namely understanding and preparing for all of the possible implications arising from Brexit,” said Minister Creed.

“We still don’t know what exactly the UK will seek but the deeper our understanding of the issues, the better prepared we all will be for the challenges ahead.”

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, concern is spreading across Ireland’s fishing industry over the impact of Brexit on Irish fishing grounds and international seafood markets.

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