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#seafood – Following months of intense lobbying and negotiation, Minister Coveney today secured €148 million from this fund for the period 2014 to 2020 for the development of the Irish seafood industry and the coastal communities that depend upon it. Welcoming this announcement the Minister said 'This funding is more than double the amount that was available to Ireland during the last Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and will ensure a strong fishing industry in Ireland that can grow expand to meet its potential up to 2020."

In announcing the EU funding, Minister Coveney said "The new CFP is a major overhaul of the way which fishing is carried out in EU waters, the purpose of which is to provide a framework for the long term sustainability of fish stocks and the whole industry. The fund will provide support for our fishing fleet to meet the challenges of the new discards ban; it will support the development of the seafood processing sector, a sustainable aquaculture industry and the communities that depend on a vibrant seafood industry."

The Minister went on to say that "I am satisfied the €148 million which I was able to negotiate for Ireland from the new fund will help our seafood industry to develop and maintain long term sustainability and economic strength. This is more than double the amount of funding that was available to Ireland in the last period from 2007 to 2013 and is, I believe, the level of the investment needed to meet the challenges and opportunities facing the Irish seafood industry."

Ireland must now prepare a programme setting out the arrangements for spending the fund and submit this to the Commission by 20 October 2014. The Department has been working on the new Operational Programme since 2013 and has engaged with stakeholders on a number of occasions to date. Further public consultation and strategic environmental assessment will take place over the summer 2014. The Minister added "We have already being consulting stakeholders on the framework for the new programme. Now that we know the amount of funds we have available we can finalise these consultations and put in place an ambitious programme of support that delivers on the priorities of the fishing industry and other stakeholders."

Under the new CFP, which was negotiated to completion under the Irish Presidency of the EU in 2013, a European Maritime and Fisheries Fund has now been established to support the delivery of the new policy.

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#Seafood - Just days after his resignation as CEO of Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Jason Whooley has been announced as the chief executive of Bio-marine Ingredients Ireland, as OceanFM reports.

The new body, a joint venture between the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation and Norwegian firm Biomarine Science Technology, is behind the "game-changer" €35 million project in the Donegal fishery harbour that's expected to create 50 construction jobs and a further 70 direct and indirect positions once operational.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the new scheme - promoted by the development of the new boarfish fishery - is set to be the largest marine food ingredients plants in the world when it enters its first full year of production in 2017.

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#Seafood - Marine Marine Simon Coveney has announced an award of €2.4 million in grant aid to 20 seafood processing companies under the 2014 Seafood Processing Business Investment Scheme.

The scheme is projected to deliver 157 jobs and €45 million in additional sales by 2016.

Taken in conjunction with private sector investment, the total investment will be almost €8 million in 2014.

The grants are co-funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the European Fisheries Fund.

“Our seafood industry has the potential to achieve sales of €1 billion per annum by 2017 and to deliver 1,200 additional jobs in that period," said Minister Coveney, who added that the seafood processing sector "is a key growth area in our seafood industry and can make a major contribution to those overall seafood industry growth targets."

The minister also said the investment "will help to build scale, drive innovation and develop value added products to meet the considerable demand on our key international markets. It will enable these companies to invest in the required technology and resources to make this happen.

"I look forward to seeing the positive effect this investment has on the industry, both in terms of employment and sales, over the next three years.”

The 20 companies receiving grant aid are from eight coastal counties across the country: four in Co Cork (Castletownbere Fishermen's Co-Op; Good Fish Processing; Keohane Seafood; Ballycotton Seafoods), three in Co Galway (Cill Chiarain Eisc Teoranta; Iasc Mara Teoranta; Galway Bay Seafoods), two in Co Mayo (Connemara Seafoods Frozen; WM Carr & Sons), four in Co Donegal (Proseail An Clochan Liath Teo; Charles Vial; Earagail Eisc Teo; Arctic Fish), two in Dublin (Rockabill Shellfish; Dunns Seafare), three in Co Wexford (Atlantis Seafoods; Sofrimar; Kilmore Seafoods) and one each in Co Louth (Seafood Processors trading as Morgans) and Co Waterford (Iasc Sliogagh Dunlarbhain Dungarvan).

The Seafood Processing Business Investment Scheme is implemented as part of the State's Seafood Development Programme. Grant aid is at a maximum rate of 20% for primary processing and 30% for secondary processing projects and is co-funded on a 50/50 basis by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the European Fisheries Fund.

The scheme is implemented by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) and Údarás na Gaeltachta, with Enterprise Ireland assisting in commercial evaluation of proposals.

Successful projects are selected for grant aid by a selection board comprising the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, BIM, Údarás na Gaeltachta, Enterprise Ireland, the Marine Institute, the South and East Regional Assembly and the BMW Regional Assembly.

Eligible companies are seafood processing SMEs with premises approved by the SFPA. Eligible costs may include the purchase of new machinery and equipment and the construction, extension or modernisation of seafood processing enterprises.

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#Seafood - Marine Minister Simon Coveney has welcomed plans by the Killybegs Fishermen’s’ Organisation (KFO) and a Norwegian partner to build the largest marine food ingredients plant in the world in Killybegs, Co Donegal.

The plant, due to become fully operational by 1 January 2017, will produce valuable high-end marine protein for human consumption.

“This facility will become a ‘game-changer’ in the seafood sector," said the minister in his opening address at the BIM National Seafood Conference at Dublin's Aviva Stadium yesterday 2 April. 

"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," he added.

"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% 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."

Minister Coveney confirmed that while the plans are at an early stage, “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 9 May, which I’m very pleased to accept subject to successful conclusion of the ongoing discussions.”

The focus of the conference, hosted by Bord Iascaigh Mhara and attended by seafood business leaders, global industry thinkers and world-renowned fisheries experts, was ‘capturing Ireland’s share of the global seafood opportunity’.

Minister Coveney added: “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.”

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#Seafood - Speaking at the opening of Ireland’s organic food stand at BioFach, the World Organic Trade Fair in Nuremburg, Germany this week Minister of State Tom Hayes of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine highlighted the opportunities that exist for Irish organic produce both at home and abroad.

“There are undoubtedly opportunities for indigenous Irish companies to make inroads into these export markets, and the Irish participation at Biofach is an important step in that direction,” said Minister Hayes.

Eight innovative Irish food companies - five of which are in the seafood sector - are participating at the event, which runs till Saturday 15 February.

Last year, BioFach attracted close to 2,500 exhibitors and some 41,800 trade visitors from 136 countries.

The minister also paid tribute to Bord Bia “who have once again done a wonderful job in organising the Irish food industry’s participation at this important event.

"I am convinced that with all the stakeholders of the industry working together, we can realise the potential that clearly exists for the Irish organic sector”.

Currently exhibiting at the Irish stand are Murphy's Irish Seafood, Kush Seafarms, Irish Seaspray, Emerald Mussels and the Irish Organic Salmon Company, along with beef and lamp specialists The Good Herdsman, Just Food and The Little Milk Company.

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#seafood – Simon Coveney, T.D, The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine announced today the award of €2.4 million in grant aid to 25 seafood processing companies under the 2013 Seafood Processing Business Investment Scheme. Taken in conjunction with private sector investment the total investment will be over €8 million in 2013.

Scroll down the page for 2013 Grants approved.

Speaking at the announcement of the investments, Minister Coveney said:

"Processing is a high growth area in Ireland's seafood sector and has successfully targeted new business opportunities in markets like China, Russia and Africa. Overall exports were valued at €517m in 2012, an increase of 20% on 2012. This €8 million investment by the industry represents a very significant funding commitment by processing companies and Government to the seafood sector and underpins the confidence of new joint venture partnerships which were significant contributors to the increase in the value of Irish seafood exports in 2012".

The 25 companies receiving grant aid are from seven coastal counties across the country, namely Kerry, Dublin, Cork, Galway, Wexford, Mayo and Donegal.

The Minister said "The geographic spread of the companies receiving the grant aid is testament to the success of the Seafood Processing Business Investment Scheme and the innovative and creative developments happening in seafood generally".

The Minister made the announcement of the new investments at the launch of BIM's new strategy for the seafood sector 2013 – 2017. The strategy "Capturing Ireland's share of

the global seafood opportunity" sets targets for the creation of 1,200 additional jobs, aligned to a total sales value of €1 billion of which exports will form €650m by the end of 2017.

The Minister said "The Irish Seafood sector is currently in expansionary mode, it is a growth industry. I believe that through the type of investment supports and strategic plan announced today, the Government can assist Irish seafood processing companies to scale up, diversify further and innovate as they develop new markets, enhancing profitability and job creation prospects into the future."

Today's announcement follows previous investment supported by the Scheme of €10 million in 2012 and €7 million in 2011. Together these developments are setting a clear path to achievement of the potential of the seafood sector to create value added seafood products, as identified in Food Harvest 2020 and Action Plan for Jobs 2012. The Food Harvest 2020 strategy targets revenue growth in the seafood sector as a whole of €300 million by 2020, with employment capable of increasing by 3,000 in that period.

The Seafood Processing Business Investment Scheme is implemented as part of the Irish Seafood Development Programme 2007-2013. Grant aid is at a maximum rate of 20% for primary processing and 30% for secondary processing projects and is co-funded on a 50/50 basis by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the European Fisheries Fund. The Scheme is implemented by BIM and Údarás na Gaeltachta, with Enterprise Ireland assisting in commercial evaluation of proposals. Successful projects are selected for grant aid by a selection board comprising the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, BIM, Údarás na Gaeltachta, Enterprise Ireland, the Marine Institute, the South and East Regional Assembly and the BMW Regional Assembly

Eligible companies are seafood processing micro/ SMEs with premises approved by the SFPA. Eligible costs may include the purchase of new machinery and equipment and the construction, extension or modernisation of seafood processing enterprises. Scheme application forms are available from www.bim.ie.

2013 Grants Approved under the Seafood Processing Business Investment Scheme

 

Company Name

County

Investment

Grant

       

Star Seafoods Ltd.

Kerry

        519,745

155,923

Kish Fish Ltd.

Dublin

       181,537

54,461

Good Fish Processing (Carrigaline) Ltd.

Cork

 284,000

85,200

Breizon Ltd

Galway

      89,900

26,970

Atlantis Seafoods Wexford Ltd.

Wexford

          107,522

32,257

Keohane Seafood Ltd

Cork

853,530

256,059

Connemara Seafoods Frozen Ltd

Mayo

        134,640

40,392

Normandy Ireland Ltd.

Cork

           102,847

30,854

Dunns Seafare Ltd

Dublin

          353,000

105,900

Premier Fish Ltd.

Donegal

 160,000

32,000

Kilmore Fish Co. Ltd

Wexford

       349,300

104,790

Island Seafoods Ltd.

Donegal

      119,000

35,700

Arctic Fish Ltd

Donegal

      140,000

42,000

Shellfish De La Mer

Cork

      550,747

165,224

Charlie Vial (Fish Merchant) Ltd

 Donegal

           84,658

25,397

CSI Seafood Products Ltd.

Cork

           270,000

81,000

Sofrimar Ltd

Wexford

    327,961

98,388

William Carr & Sons Ltd

Cork

   268,895

80,669

Rockabill Shellfish Ltd

 Dublin

197,719

59,316

Sean Ward Fish Exports Ltd.

 Donegal

         974,875

292,462

Oilean Mara Teo

Galway

      378,561

113,568

Proseail An Clochan Liath Teo.

 Donegal

         91,007

27,302

Fastnet Mussels

 Cork

         518,050

155,415

Earagail Eisc Teo

 Donegal

935,000

280,500

Cill Chiarian Eisc Teo       

Galway

20,000

6,000

       

TOTAL

 

8,012,495

2,387,748

 

 

 

 

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#SEAFOOD BUSINESS - Galway Bay Seafood's ready-to-eat seafood range has received a boost with a number of its products getting gold stars in the UK's Great Taste awards.

The Galway Independent reports that the Galway-based fishmongers' barbecued salmon, barbecued and peppered smoked mackerel were awarded one gold star each, while smoked mackerel received the honour of two gold stars.

The locally produced fish will now carry the coveted Great Taste 2012 logo, described by proprietor Noel Holland as a "fantastic achievement" for the company and its staff.

"It is heartening to see all our work paying off and boosts the morale of everyone involved here," he told the Independent. "This boost will motivate us to keep striving to continually improve our business.”

Galway Bay Seafood's products were judged by a panel that included restaurateur and Masterchef winner Mat Follas - a chef whose seafood main helped him clinch that coveted title.

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#JOBS AND CAREERS - More than 140 jobs are expected to be created by 21 seafood processing companies nationwide thanks to a new €15.5 million investment deal.

As The Irish Times reports, Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney was set today to announce the investment, supported by grants of €3.2 million under European Union seafood processing business scheme.

Some 21 small and medium enterprises – based in coastal counties Dublin, Wexford, Cork, Kerry, Galway, Donegal and Louth – intend to create 142 jobs between them, and hope to see a €44 million increase in the sales of seafood products thanks to this investment.

Minister Coveney said the investment demonstrates confidence in the sector as an area of high growth potential.

For more on this story, Tom McSweeney examines the benefits of the deal for Ireland's marine sector in today's edition of This Island Nation.

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#FISHING - Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney briefed the Irish Skipper Expo in Galway last weekend on a new initiative promoting the use of selective conservation fishing nets, which allow young fish to escape.

Under the initiative in the Celtic Sea, additional quotas of up to 25% will be made available by the minister to skippers of Irish fishing boats which use an escape panel in their nets, allowing young whiting and haddock to escape.

The escape panel, developed by the Irish industry, has been endorsed at EU level and is expected to be a mandatory requirement later in the year.

Minister Coveney said on Saturday: “The use of this panel will significantly reduce discards of juvenile whiting and haddock in the Celtic Sea, allowing juvenile fish to grow and mature and contribute to increased stock size and returns for fishermen in future years.

"I believe that this offers an example of a practical approach to dealing effectively with the discards problem and retention of a flexible quota allocation system that we should take forward in the context of the Common Fisheries Policy Review."

In other news, Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) announced €1.5 million in grant aid for the Irish fishing industry at the expo.

A spokesperson for BIM confirmed to the Galway Independent that the funding will be available to industry through a variety of schemes including fleet safety, seafood environmental management, lobster V-notching and coastal action groups.

Over 100 companies displayed their products and services to fishermen at the Irish Skipper Expo International 2012, held at the Galway Bay Hotel on 24-25 February.

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#NEWS UPDATE - Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney has launched a public consultation process on harnessing the potential of Ireland's vast marine resources.

Our Ocean Wealth is calling for input into how Ireland can best capitalise on the trillion-euro global market for marine products and services, from seafood and tourism to shipping, oil and gas, renewable ocean energy and marine science.

Launching the consultation, Minister Coveney said: "We need to change the way we in Ireland think about the sea and look for new opportunities to harness the potential of our 220-million-acre marine resource.

"This government is determined to generate the momentum to drive forward a new era of sustainable economic development across the maritime sectors - we must avail of these opportunities to assist in our recovery. We want your help to shape our plan, to shape our future and to assist in our drive towards our nation's economic recovery."

The consultation process is a step towards developing an Integrated Marine Plan for Ireland intended to grow the percentage of GDP generated by the country's marine resource, which covers an area 10 times the size of Ireland's land mass.

The minister added: "We need an Integrated Marine Plan to harness our ocean wealth, get the environment right for investment and use the potential of our marine economy to create jobs in a sustainable manner."

The consultation phase will be open until 31 March with an aim to publish the Integrated Marine Plan during the summer. For more details visit www.ouroceanwealth.ie.

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