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Aquaculture
A Dublin Bay Prawn emerges from its seabed burrow
The Marine Institute is collaborating with scientists in Spain as part of a new project, Smart Lobster, to monitor the digging activity and maintenance of burrows of the Nephrops norvegicus, commonly known as the Dublin Bay Prawn, using the EMSO…
Inventor Grzegorz Skawiński with his oyster device
A Polish man says he has quite literally turned oyster farming on its head - by inventing a revolutionary device that allows for three times more oysters within the same area of seabed. Grzegorz Skawiński developed the product over two…
Fish Health Controls in Ireland Show High Level of Compliance
The Marine Institute says that its fish health inspection and monitoring activities in 2018 and 2019 indicate that there is a high level of compliance with EU and national legislation, and as a result, Ireland continues to maintain its high…
Local produce from Mulroy Bay Mussels. The County Donegal firm were awarded €75,900 in the Sustainable Aquaculture Scheme to invest in new handling equipment
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Barry Cowen T.D. today announced €3.4 million in new investment by 15 aquaculture enterprises, with his Department’s European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Programme providing grants of €1,282,277. Minister Cowen said, “I am…
The IMTA Impaqt pilot site at Lehanagh Pool, in Connemara
Seafood is a popular and healthy food product in Ireland with the average Irish person consuming about 22kg of fish per year. People recognise the health benefits with fish being low-fat and a good source of omega-3 fats, which are…
Marine Minister Michael Creed
Frustration is building around the coastline over a reluctance by Minister for Marine Michael Creed to avail of EU funding to ease the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the fishing and fish farming industries. As The Sunday Times…
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed TD pictured with managing director John Nolan on a visit to the Castletownbere Fishermens Co-Operative Society Ltd
Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D. today announced the award of €2,369,801 in grants to 17 seafood enterprises in 9 different counties under his Department’s European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Operational Programme for the seafood sector.…
Minister Wants EU Funding For Irish Aquaculture & Seafood Processing
#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…
Full-scale demonstration of a new aeration technology for fish farms
#Aquaculture - Researchers in Galway and Athlone are leading a project to identify technologies that can improve the management of freshwater fish farming and reduce its impact on the environment. As Green News reports, the teams at NUI Galway and…
New Marine Research Cluster For Connemara To Focus On Aquaculture Research
#MarineScience - A new marine research cluster is planned for Connemara incorporating the Údaras na Gaeltachta facility at Pairc na Mara currently under development in Cill Chiaráin, NUI Galway’s Carna Campus Laboratories, and an aquaculture site in Beirtreach Buí near…
Over €1.8 million in grants to 19 seafood enterprises under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF)
Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D. today announced the award of over €1.8 million in grants to 19 seafood enterprises under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) Operational Programme for the seafood sector. The grants…
Marine Minister Appoints Independent Aquaculture Licensing Review Group
#Aquaculture - Marine Minister Michael Creed has announced the appointment of an independent Aquaculture Licensing Review Group The group has been established to review the process of licensing for aquaculture and its associated legal framework in keeping with actions identified…
New Marine Minister Announces €4.3M EMFF Grants To Seafood Processing & Aquaculture Sectors
#Seafood - New Marine Minister Michael Creed yesterday (Friday 27 May) announced the award of €4.3 million in grants to 51 seafood enterprises under five schemes launched earlier this year under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) Operational Programme…
€7m Aquaculture Project to Support Sustainable Growth
With concerns around sustainability of food security continuing to rise, a team of European aquaculture experts will begin a four-year study worth almost €7 million to establish new strategies and models for sustainable growth in the industry. The Tools for…
Marine Minister Launches Draft National Strategic Plan For Sustainable Aquaculture
#Aquaculture - Marine Minister Simon Coveney yesterday (12 June) launched a public consultation on a draft National Strategic Plan for Sustainable Aquaculture Development, proposing 24 actions and initiatives to boost the sustainable growth of aquaculture.  The reformed Common Fisheries Policy…
SEAFARE Seville Seminar Highlights the Potential of Wetlands Aquaculture
The SEAFARE (Sustainable and Environmentally Friendly Aquaculture for the Atlantic Region of Europe) project held a one-day seminar at Instituto de Investigación y Formación Agraria y Pesquera (IFAPA)'s headquarters in Seville (Spain) on the 30th October 2013 as part of…

Irish Aquaculture - Information

Aquaculture is the farming of animals in the water and has been practised for centuries, with the monks farming fish in the middle ages. More recently the technology has progressed and the aquaculture sector is now producing in the region of 50 thousand tonnes annually and provides a valuable food product as well as much needed employment in many rural areas of Ireland.

A typical fish farm involves keeping fish in pens in the water column, caring for them and supplying them with food so they grow to market size. Or for shellfish, containing them in a specialised unit and allowing them to feed on natural plants and materials in the water column until they reach harvestable size. While farming fish has a lower carbon and water footprint to those of land animals, and a very efficient food fed to weight gain ratio compared to beef, pork or chicken, farming does require protein food sources and produces organic waste which is released into the surrounding waters. Finding sustainable food sources, and reducing the environmental impacts are key challenges facing the sector as it continues to grow.

Salmon is the most popular fish bought by Irish families. In Ireland, most of our salmon is farmed, and along with mussels and oysters, are the main farmed species in the country.

Aquaculture in Ireland

  • Fish and shellfish are farmed in 14 Irish coastal counties.
  • Irish SMEs and families grow salmon, oysters, mussels and other seafood
  • The sector is worth €150m at the farm gate – 80% in export earnings.
  • The industry sustains 1,833 direct jobs in remote rural areas – 80% in the west of Ireland
  • Every full-time job in aquaculture creates 2.27 other jobs locally (Teagasc 2015)
  • Ireland’s marine farms occupy 0.0004% of Ireland’s 17,500Km2 inshore area.
  • 83% of people in coastal areas support the development of fish farming
  • Aquaculture is a strong, sustainable and popular strategic asset for development and job creation (Foodwise 2025, National Strategic Plan, Seafood
  • Operational Programme 2020, FAO, European Commission, European Investment Bank, Harvesting Our Ocean Wealth, Silicon Republic, CEDRA)
    Ireland has led the world in organically certified farmed fish for over 30 years
  • Fish farm workers include people who have spent over two decades in the business to school-leavers intent on becoming third-generation farmers on their family sites.

At A Glance - Irish Aquaculture

  • Fish and shellfish are farmed in 14 Irish coastal counties
  • Salmon is the most popular fish bought by Irish families. 
  • In Ireland, most of our salmon is farmed, and along with mussels and oysters, are the main farmed species in the country.
  • The industry sustains 1,833 direct jobs in remote rural areas – 80% in the west of Ireland
  • Every full-time job in aquaculture creates 2.27 other jobs locally (Teagasc 2015)
  • Ireland’s marine farms occupy 0.0004% of Ireland’s 17,500Km2 inshore area.
  • 83% of people in coastal areas support the development of fish farming

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