Displaying items by tag: Seafood
#FISHING - Seafood lovers of Cumbria in north-west England have been urged to broaden their tastes to save depleted stocks of their favourite fish in the Irish Sea.
According to the News & Star, some 80% of Britons "insist upon eating just five types of fish – cod, tuna, salmon, prawn and haddock."
But the Cumbria Wildlife Trust says that with coastal waters facing the serious threat of overfishing, a rethink is needed among both consumers and suppliers alike.
“The Irish Sea has a wide range of edible fish species but you wouldn’t know it judging by the fish counters in supermarkets across the county," says Lindsay Sullivan of the trust's Wild Oceans project, an 18-month scheme that hopes to "turn the tide for seafood".
A big part of this is encouraging consumers to skip the usual white fish and try different species such as flounder, monkfish and red mulllet, creating demand for cheaper and more sustainable fishing.
The News & Star has more on the story HERE.
#TOURISM - Winter might be upon us, but it's a great time to plan a new year holiday in Ireland on the sea, according to the UK's Daily Echo.
From night-time paddling in with renowned kayaking instructor Jim Kennedy, to snorkelling in Baltimore, relaxing in Skibbereen and and fresh seafood lunches in Kinsale, a vacation in Cork can appeal to any taste.
Whale and dolphin watching is a big draw for the region, too, as Ireland's coast – the first cetacean sanctuary in Europe - plays host to a growing variety of species.
The summer feeding grounds off the southern coast are particularly busy, and tourist boats are often treated to whales breaching the surface and surrounded by dolphins putting on a show.
The Daily Echo has more on the story HERE.
The UN estimates that the world will need an extra 42 million tonnes of seafood every year from 2030. The Minister said "my Department, the public servants working in this new facility and I are committed to making sure that every effort is made to position Ireland to take full advantage of the enormous opportunities we see for expanding the Seafood Sector in Ireland". The Minister added that he "is focussed on firstly moving away from selling 85% of our seafood production in commodity form and instead developing new high value processed seafood products in Ireland. Secondly, I want to attract a higher percentage of the near one million tonnes of seafood caught around Ireland to be landed into Ireland and serviced from Ireland. Thirdly, I am focussed on significantly expanding and developing sustainable Aquaculture in Ireland. I want this expansion to be in traditional fin fish and shellfish farming but also I am taking new initiatives to drive on new large scale deep water aquaculture which I see as a game changer in terms of Jobs and economic activity for our aquaculture industry and coastal communities".
This National Seafood Centre is being opened at a time of great challenge for Ireland but great opportunity for the seafood sector as a whole. Minister Coveney stated that "the Seafood Sector is very important to Ireland and holds a key to economic recovery and employment in many coastal areas and coastal communities from Greencastle in Donegal right around to Carlingford in Louth. Contrary to some people's perceptions, this is an industry for the future and in my view we have only begun to tap into the potential of the Seafood Sector in Ireland. Irish Seafood exports increased in value, in 2010 relative to 2009, by 14 % to €378m. In the first seven months of this year they are up by a further 10% relative to the first seven months of 2010".
This National Seafood Centre is a bespoke design by the Office of Public Works (OPW) to meet the specific needs of these organisations and the functions and services being delivered from the building. The idea of co-locating all of the State seafood industry related services in one building is designed to improve co-ordination, and maximise the sharing of expertise in order to enhance development of the Seafood Industry in Ireland. The Centre incorporates the State's first dedicated facility for the development of new high value seafood products and presentations and this facility has had 330 large medium and small Seafood Processing companies through its doors since opening and has been associated with the development of new seafood products accounting for sales of €10m to date and growing. At present there are 140 people directly employed in the Centre many of whom have relocated from Dublin and other parts of Ireland to the area thus adding to the economic viability of the Clonakilty area.
The Minister added "the new National Seafood Centre is testament to the Government's commitment to developing the Seafood Industry in Ireland and the work done at this Centre will be central to realising the potential of our Seafood sector". Minister Coveney concluded by congratulating all involved in bringing this Centre into being before unveiling the naming stone for the new National Seafood Centre and officially opening the building.
Son of oyster farmers Hugo and Judith Vajk of Caledonian Oysters, Angus won the Loch Fyne Scottish Oyster Opening Championships in Glasgow last month, beating a dozen other competitors including his father!
"I have been opening oysters since before I could walk," he quipped, as he accepted a prize plate from Virginia Sumsion, Marketing and Events Director of Loch Fyne Oysters. "I am thrilled to have won, and excited about going to the world championships, but it will be daunting being up against so many experts. I will be putting in a lot of speed practice this week!"
Part of his prize was a trip to Galway to enjoy the annual international oyster and seafood festival, but Angus had to wait for the organisers of the world competition to confirm that his opening time of 4 minutes 5 seconds for 30 oysters was good enough to allow him to compete there.
"Angus was a worthy winner and we are delighted to sponsor his entry in the worlds. We hope he will do well and bring the cup back home!" said Virginia Sumsion.
Seafood Scotland, which helped to organise the Scottish competition at the Glasgow Riverside Festival, also wishes Angus the very best of luck. "This is the first time ever that the world oyster opening championship has had a Scottish competitor, so it is an honour for Angus to fly the flag for his country," said Marketing Manger Clare Dixon.
Fine Gael has pledged to reinstate the Department of the Marine in its election manifesto published today. Under the heading 'steering the marine' Fine Gael also says it will replace the Boards of all State Port companies and Harbour Commissions within one year of entering government. The full chapter dealing with Marine is below:
1.11 Supporting the Seafood Sector and Marine
Expanding the Industry: Fine Gael believes Ireland, as an island nation with a strong and valued fishing tradition has huge potential to succeed as a serious competitor in the international seafood sector. The seafood industry currently generates annual revenues of €718 million and provides direct employment for 11,000 people. With an estimated 40 million tonnes of seafood to be required annually by 2030, there is significant scope for further expansion.
Common Fisheries Policy:
We will negotiate the best possible deal for Irish fishermen in the context of the ongoing review of the Common Fisheries Policy. Our priorities are:
• A progressive reduction of discards, fishery by fishery and in all maritime regions in the EU.
• Protection of the Hague Preferences.
• A uniform and transparent regulation regime.
• A clear, independently audited database of infringements across the EU.
• The development of a sustainable aquaculture plan.
• A strong focus on seafood marketing, labelling and country of origin to ensure imports meet the same
standards on safety, hygiene, traceability, recall, information and audit.
Sea Fisheries Bill:
We will publish legislation to replace the criminal sanctions system for minor fisheries offences with an administrative sanction system to bring Ireland into line with other European jurisdictions.
Funding for Fisheries:
Fianna Fáil and Green Party in-fighting has limited Ireland's ability to draw down EU funds for seafood development. We will resolve difficulties blocking the drawdown of available funds. Aquaculture Licensing: An additional 42 million tonnes of farmed seafood will be required to keep pace with demand each year by 2030, just 20 years away. We must increase our raw material supply and expand our aquaculture sector. We will remove administrative obstacles and clear the backlog of aquaculture licences currently preventing the creation of thousands of jobs in the aquaculture sector.
Value Added Products:
Currently, 85% of all Irish seafood is commodity traded. There is a significant opportunity to generate more value from this raw material base. Fine Gael will task Bord Iascaigh Mhara with assisting Irish companies in adding value to their products through innovation.
Single Food Label:
We will create and market a single label for all Irish produce and will drive a targeted marketing campaign to grow the Irish brand in new markets.
1.12 Steering the Marine
Marine and fisheries policy is currently spread across three Departments. Fine Gael will merge these responsibilities under one Department for better co-ordination in policy delivery.
National Marine and Coastal Plan:
We will develop an integrated marine and coastal planning process to reach the full potential of our coastline in fishing, aquaculture, ocean energy and tourism.
We will support the development of our ports and marine sector as important drivers of economic growth. We will also replace the Boards of all State Port companies and Harbour Commissions within one year of entering government.
The manifesto is HERE
Grant-aid of €1,122,084 is being provided to support a total investment of €2,023,127 for safety upgrades on board fishing vessels, lobster conservation, the development of Environmental Management Systems for Ireland's fishing fleet, and a number of collectively based projects under the new Marine Environment Protection Scheme (MEPS).
"These projects will further support our fishing industry", said Minister Connick. "Based as they are on the principle of responsible fishing practices that result in premium quality Irish seafood, the environmental focus for many of these projects will be critical in sustaining Ireland's fisheries sector during this time of unprecedented economic challenge".
A range of marine environment, conservation and safety initiatives are approved. Jointly developed by the industry and Bord Iascaigh Mhara, the Seafood Environmental Management System (sEMS) and the Marine Environment Protection Scheme (MEPS), respond to the growing demand by seafood providers and consumers for access to responsibly sourced wild caught fish. Included is grant-aid of over €350,000 to assist Irish fishing vessels develop and implement Environmental Management Systems as well as undergoing third-party accreditation for the newly developed BIM Stewardship Standard. This internationally accredited (ISO65 – EN45011) standard is amongst the first of its kind worldwide. Ireland led the way with the introduction of the first such scheme for salmon in 2005 and since then has developed similar schemes for mussels and oysters.
BIM will also roll out the €419,000 Marine Environment Protection Measure, a programme aimed to maintain healthy fish stocks while simultaneously developing the marine environment. The national lobster conservation programme is also funded to the tune of €113,000 with a similar investment being made by inshore fishermen.
A full list of all the projects funded is provided below.
Sea Fisheries Development Programme
Fisheries Operational Programme – European Fisheries Fund
Total Grant Aid
Marine Environment Protection Measure*
SEAFOOD ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT & CERTIFICATION GRANT AID SCHEME*
Shellfish Discard & Live Return Reduction scheme - Lobster conservation*
FLEET SAFETY SCHEME
MARINE TOURISM SAFETY SCHEME
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Brendan Smith TD and Minister of State with responsibility for Fisheries, Sean Connick TD, today launched Bord Iascaigh Mhara's (BIM's) new three year strategy (2010 – 2012) and the Irish Seafood National Programme to 2013. The event, which was hosted by BIM at the decentralised Department and BIM offices in Clonakilty, was attended by a large audience from the wider seafood sector.
In his address, Minister Smith welcomed the opportunity to launch these two significant initiatives acknowledging how appropriate it was that they come on the same week as the launch of Food Harvest 2020, which focused on the contribution to be made by the food sector generally in Ireland's economic recovery.
Minister Smith said that both he and Minister Connick attached "a high level of importance on BIM's transformation agenda for the seafood sector and on the associated seafood development measures contained in the Seafood National Programme".
BIM's new strategy document concentrates on avenues to deliver essential developmental services to a seafood industry undergoing rapid and unparalleled change. The Minister commended BIM for clearly setting out challenging targets for themselves for delivery by 2012, including the creation of 600 jobs, an additional €50m in value added seafood sales, and greater differentiation of 40,000 tonnes of Irish seafood products worth €120m.
Minister Smith went on to say "I have consistently stated that the seafood sector, made up as it is of indigenous operators, will have a significant role to play in Ireland's economic recovery. BIM's new strategy is a welcome addition to the suite of harmonised strategies for the seafood sector including Steering a New Course, Sea Change, as well as Food Harvest 2020. It adds to and fully complements the existing strategies and positions Ireland well to maximise the very large opportunities which are presenting themselves in the international seafood markets".
Focusing on the National Programme for the development of the Seafood Sector, Minister of State Connick said "The measures contained in this Programme are the tools to enable the Government and its agencies deliver on the objectives contained in the suite of Seafood focused strategies, and places Ireland in a promising position to capture some of the undoubted opportunities which are emerging in both the international and domestic seafood markets".
Minister Connick said that the proposed investments in the seafood industry constitute a significant vote of confidence by the Government in the sector. He went on to say "The programme published today envisages a significant state investment into the Irish seafood sector from now until the end of 2013. A dedicated allocation of €6.5m is being made available for the remainder of 2010 for the development of the aquaculture and processing sectors." While the programme also facilitates access to other funding from Bord Bia for marketing, from Enterprise Ireland for processing, and from BIM for added value and innovation and fisheries support".
On the launch of the two initiatives Minister Connick said "The launch of these two complementary initiatives to drive forward the development of a modern, high value added, sustainable and expanding seafood sector is an important event in delivering the real opportunities which exist for income generation and enhanced employment in our coastal communities".