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The owners of a former Dingle fish processing plant have received Brexit-related grant aid towards a 1.3 million euro visitor attraction, which recalls the harbour’s famous dolphin, Fungi.

The Keane family, owners of Ó Catháin Iasc Teo, have invested over €1,355,000 in the project, of which more than €177,000 was grant-aided under the Brexit Blue Economy Enterprise Development Scheme.

The Wild Atlantic Virtual Experience (WAVE), as it is called, offers visitors an “immersive ocean experience”, telling the story of marine life through the eyes of the men and women who have fished off the Co Kerry shores for thousands of years.

The WAVE project is using what is described as Ireland’s “largest 360-degree LED screen” which includes screening of life size computer-generated images of Fungi.The project is using what is described as Ireland’s “largest 360-degree LED screen” which includes screening of life size computer-generated images of Fungi Photo: Dominick Walsh

The project is using what is described as Ireland’s “largest 360-degree LED screen” which includes screening of life size computer-generated images of Fungi.

“The experience also explores shipwrecks and uncovers the myths and legends of the sea, bringing visitors up close to majestic humpback and orca whales, seals, turtles, and other sea life,” BIM says.

It includes a virtual trip through a sunken Spanish Armada ship and German U-boats.

Michael Keane says that “climate change” has hurt the Ó Catháin fisheries business substantially in recent years.

“We were primarily a herring factory, but they have migrated further north due to climate change,”he says.

“There’s almost no stock of herring down here now. We used to work for eight months of the year, now it’s six weeks,” he said.

“We had to do something to stay in business and we knew the fish business and the culture, so we eventually hit on the idea of developing Wave in the 17,000 sq ft building in which we had our fish processing operations,”he said.

“Without the support of the Brexit Blue Economy Enterprise Development Scheme and BIM, we would not have been in a position to make this investment. Since we opened, the reaction has been great,” he said.

“ We will keep developing the experience, and aim to create an iconic international and local market attraction that highlights the best of the Dingle Peninsula, accessible all year, and further enhancing Dingle as a year round destination,”he added.

WAVE can accommodate over 200 tourists per hour and is laid out in five separate rooms, each with its own experience. It aims for 70,000 visitors annually and 16 full-time employees over five years.

The project aims to be carbon neutral by 2028.

“We have installed energy efficiency lights and solar panels,”Keane says.

“There is also a cafe with sustainable packaging and offering locally supplied produce. The building has been designed to easily add further initiatives over the coming years,” he says.

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The Connemara farmed salmon producer Cill Chiaráin Éisc Teoranta (CCET), has completed a substantial €543,000 investment with support from Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) funding.

CCET, which is the production arm of the Irish Seafood Producers Group (ISPG), says it has transformed its operations through the investment, increasing quality and efficiency and upscaling production.

Up to €272,000 of the total investment was grant-aided under a Brexit-related scheme funded by the EU to ease the negative impact of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU. The fund was administered by Bord Iascaigh Mhara.

Automated portion, skinning and strapping machines have been installed, along with a new temperature control system.

Staff are processing salmon on the factory floor in Cill Chiaráin, ConnemaraStaff are processing salmon on the factory floor in Cill Chiaráin, Connemara

“We are very excited about the energy efficiencies. Everything now is geared towards being sustainable and our ambition is to cut down on our carbon footprint and to one day be carbon neutral,”Bridie Casey, CCET financial controller said.

Cill Chiaráin Éisc Teoranta (CCET) was established in Cill Chiaráin in 1988 and currently gives employment to around 30 local people, eight of those full time all year

“Our careful selection processes ensure that only fish of the highest quality is packed and distributed to our customers mainly in Switzerland and France,”Casey said.

She says supply of organic salmon has been a challenge in recent years.

Currently salmon is being supplied to CCET by three local producers, Mannin Bay Salmon Limited, Curraun Fisheries Ltd and Bradán Beo Teo.

Between them, they provide an average of 100 tonnes of salmon a week. All three companies have a 51% stake in CCET.

“Without our local salmon farmers we would not be in business. We value them and look forward to working alongside them in partnership for years to come,”she said.

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A fourth generation Kerry fishing family is expanding its seafood business with a 400,000 euro investment.

The Fish Box restaurant and takeaway, based in Dingle, is using the investment to put a food truck on the road, introduce a fresh fish counter and add solar panels as part of a drive to be more energy efficient.

Since the Flannery family opened The Fish Box in Upper Green Street in the heart of Dingle town in 2018, they have earned multiple food awards and featured in several guides.

Micheál Flannery manages the business and looking after marketing and sales, while his brother, Patrick, operates and supplies fish from the family’s boat, Cú na Mara.

Their mother Deirdre is head chef, while sister Eimear works at front of house.

Micheál and Patrick’s great grandfather started fishing back in the 1920’s, followed by their grandfather, Paddy Flannery and father Michael.

The Fish Box received €200,000 in grant aid towards its investment under the Brexit Blue Economy Enterprise Development Scheme.

The scheme is funded by the European Union under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve.

The Fish Box employs around 35 people and offers both a takeaway and sit-down option outdoors, and indoors for up to 20 people. It hopes to expand to accommodate 100 customers indoors.

The investment will also see the addition of a fresh fish processing and sales area to include walk-in cold and freezer rooms, new signage and a solar panel system which will reduce energy costs.

Part of the investment includes the addition of a customised seafood truck which will spread The Fish Box brand by going on the road from January. It has already been booked for events this year.

The Fish Box kitchen offers a wide range of delicious seafood, including crispy chilli monkfish and jumbo langoustines.

“We don’t really follow trends in the Fish Box. We do our own thing, offering local food,“ said Micheál.

“We really believe that with our own trawler catching fish and supplying to our restaurant, the fresh fish counter and the truck we have a model that will work all over Ireland, and expansion from Kerry is something we will explore next year.”

"We fish from Dingle and land our catch in Dingle which then goes directly to our restaurant in Dingle. There is no travel. I know who catches the fish, who handles it, who fillets it, who cooks it and finally who eats it. We can literally offer a sea to fork experience,” he said.

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A north Dublin seafood business has benefited from a €160,000 expansion, with grant-aid from the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR).

Howth-based award-winning company Kish Fish has increased its production targets significantly as part of the project.

Almost €70,000 was grant aided under the Brexit Blue Economy Enterprise Development Scheme. It is administered by BIM and drawn from BAR, which is the EU fund set up to ease the negative impacts of Brexit.

“We realised a few years ago that our existing production facility, which launched Kish Fish into the area of value-added production, had served its purpose,” Tadgh O’Meara, one of two brothers running the business, says.

“We were constrained in our plans to develop and increase the volume and variety of ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat seafood products for which there was more demand after Covid,” he says.

“The new production facility includes a seafood dicing machine, which will be a game changer, allowing us to produce a higher volume of value-added products, directly appealing to food services and hospitality customers,”he says.

Kish Fish says it has increased its capacity of fish cake production by 20% a week, and has also doubled the production of seafood chowder by 50% per day.

“Building on our existing smokehouse capability, we will shift the focus away from the stalwart products such as salmon and cod to new high-value products,” he says.

“Being able to supply more prepared fresh food will help our hospitality customers overcome challenges they face, including staff and skills shortages,”he says.

The new development also means Kish Fish says its operations are more energy efficient and sustainable, with off peak power usage options and environmentally friendly packaging.

It will allow for better use of raw material, focusing on increasing the value extracted and reducing the level of waste, it says.

Kish Fish, named after the lighthouse, was founded by Tadgh O’Meara Snr and Danny Hughes in 1966 when they first began selling whole fish in the Dublin Fish-market.

Brothers Tadgh, Bill and Damian took over the business in the 1990s, but Bill passed away in 2022.

It opened its first retail shop in Bow St, Dublin, in 1989 and in 2007 a purpose-built facility was built in Coolock to meet growing demand. This was followed by a new factory shop in Coolock a year later.

The business further expanded in 2016 when it acquired a smokehouse and a third retail shop on Howth’s West Pier. A year later, in partnership with Avoca, it opened a seafood counter in Dunboyne.

The brothers run Baily & Kish smokehouse, an online shop, and the Baily Bites at Kish food truck, located on the West Pier in Howth.

“From small beginnings we are proud that today Kish Fish supplies hotels, restaurants, supermarkets and other food service outlets all over the country with top quality seafood.” Tadgh O’Meara says.

“Kish Fish also hopes to increase staff numbers recruiting new employees at all levels including specialists, operatives and chefs bringing jobs to the local economy while playing its part in carrying on the long legacy and heritage of fishing in Howth,” he says.

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The Minister for the Marine has congratulated a Donegal teenager with Down Syndrome, described as having “sea blood running through his veins,” for following his dream to work in the marine sector.

Sixteen-year-old Seán Boyle has passed his three-day Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) Basic Safety Training course, which will allow him to work on a boat or ferry.

“An incredible achievement,” according to Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, who wished Sean the best of luck with his future career.“An inclusive culture and spirit of opportunity, where everyone has the chance to contribute and achieve their dreams, is vital. Diversity and inclusion add to the richness of our society, and I am delighted for Seán.”

Séan Boyle lives on Árainn Mhór Island and is the third brother in his family to take the training. He got his love of the sea from his fisherman father, John. A Transition Year student at Gairmscoil Mhic Diarmada on Árainn Mhór, he had to undergo three days of training at the BIM National Fisheries College in Greencastle to receive his safety card. The training involved tasks such as jumping into a pool with safety gear, going on a life raft on his own and doing elementary first aid. Seán excelled in everything that came his way.

Seán’s mother, Elaine, said the family couldn’t be prouder of Seán who is the youngest of five children. “He is a brilliant character and people person and doesn’t let much get in his way! Our family is steeped in fishing tradition and as soon as he could walk, Seán would put on his wellies and follow his Dad when he was going out in the boat.”

Donegal teenager Séan Boyle from Árainn Mhór has taken a step closer to following his dream to pursue a career at sea by passing his Bord Iaschaigh Mhara (BIM) Basic Safety Training course which will allow him to work on a boat or Ferry. Photo: Brian Farrell16-year-old Séan, a Transition Year student at Gairmscoil Mhic Diarmada School on Árainn Mhór, has Down Syndrome and did not let his disability get in his way to achieve his maritime ambitions Photo: Brian Farrell

He learned to swim when he was younger, taking the ferry every Saturday with his mother across to the mainland to take lessons in Letterkenny Pool. It took him longer than usual to learn to swim. “It was a real commitment, but he was determined,” said Elaine.

Seán said: “If my brothers can do it why shouldn’t I? I am really looking forward to working on a boat.”

Seán’s teacher, Florence Calais, helped him apply for the BIM training, and it is hoped he will do TY work placement in the coming weeks on one of the island ferries.

Garvan Meehan, Principal of the BIM National Fisheries College of Ireland in Greencastle, said: “It was a joy to have Seán on the course in Greencastle. He completed all the tasks with no problems, and his training card is an important step forward towards achieving his goal of working at sea. He is a great example that you can achieve your dreams if you are determined and supported.”

Barry Sheridan, CEO of Down Syndrome Ireland, said: “We’re all incredibly proud of Sean and his achievement. It’s such an impressive qualification, and we know that Sean will be an asset to any vessel he serves on. We at Down Syndrome Ireland, and all our branches and members, are constantly trying to forge new opportunities for people with Down syndrome, and Sean is a real trailblazer. Sean’s Bord Iascaigh Mhara card will be the passport to a brilliant future”.

BIM is the primary training body for the seafood industry in Ireland and runs Basic Safety Training at its National Fisheries Colleges in Greencastle, Co. Donegal, Castletownbere, Co. Cork, and two mobile coastal training units around our coastlines.

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Almost 8,000 fish meals distributed by the social enterprise FoodCloud to community groups and charities have come from classes with trainee fishmongers, new figures confirm.

Over three tonnes of fresh salmon, cod, place and monkfish have been donated over the past seven years via FoodCloud in partnership with Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the State’s seafood development agency.

The fresh fish is collected at BIM’s fish filleting courses in the north Dublin fishing harbour of Howth and in Clonakilty, Co Cork. The accredited courses are run for fishmongers and those who wish to improve their fish handling skills.

More than 190 kilos of fish were transferred to charities such as Depaul, working with the homeless, this year alone (2023), and BIM calculates that the 3.2 tonnes of fish in total over seven years amounts to 7,719 meals in total.

It also estimates that the fish fillets which might otherwise have been disposed of after the classes contributed to a total of 10.3 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent emissions saved.

DePaul chief executive David Carroll explained that “every Friday, our chef in Sundial House in Dublin serves a hearty fish meal”.

This “not only provides much needed nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D”, but also “puts a smile on faces”, he said.

“Thanks to food donations we get, including from BIM, we can help to close the gap on food inequality for people in homelessness,”he said, noting that fresh fish is a relatively expensive food which might otherwise be out of reach of its budgets.

FoodCloud, which was established in 2013 by Iseult Ward and Aoibheann O’Brien to ensure that no good food is wasted, was awarded Irish Charity of the Year in 2022.

It connects businesses and organisations with extra food to community and voluntary groups and charities, and is currently redistributing around 1.25 million meals per week.

Since it was set up, FoodCloud says it has redistributed the equivalent of 250 million meals, amounting to over 105,000 tonnes of good surplus food to over 7,000 charities in Ireland and internationally.

It has two methods – through a technology platform, Foodiverse, and through FoodCloud hubs in Dublin, Cork and Galway, which collect and redistribute larger volumes.

The organisation’s co-founder and interim chief executive Aoibheann O’Brien has thanked BIM for its partnership and contribution to “create a world that is kinder to its people and our planet through the redistribution of surplus food.”

BIM skills development services manager Ian Mannix said the organisation is “committed to doing everything possible to build a more sustainable future, and our partnership with FoodCloud has helped us play our part”.

The surplus fish arises from a number of two-day introduction to fish handling and filleting training courses, and the QQI accredited certificate in fishmonger training programme, run in the BIM Seafood Innovation Hub in Clonakilty and at its fish filleting facility in Howth several times a year.

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The Irish seafood sector has a low carbon footprint, which generates less than 2% of Ireland’s total carbon emissions, according to a Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) study.

The report says that total Irish fish catch and aquaculture segments represent just 1.76% of Ireland’s total carbon emissions.

The study, discussed at a seminar in Athlone this week hosted by BIM with the Marine Institute, sets out a “greenhouse gas emissions” baseline for the Irish seafood sector, incorporating the Irish fishing vessel fleet and aquaculture.

The baseline, which can be used as a benchmark to measure future emissions, collates seafood carbon data for the first time, BIM says.

It identifies areas to minimise carbon emissions associated with seafood production and finds that farmed mussels, oysters and wild-caught mackerel in particular have very low carbon emissions, BIM says.

“The report stresses the need for a detailed decarbonising plan to ensure that the seafood sector plays its part in Ireland’s ambition to achieve net zero emissions by 2050,”BIM says.

The study notes the diversity of the Irish seafood sector, and how the carbon footprint of different products “varies depending on the species and the methods used to cultivate or catch them”.

“The Irish seafood sector is undergoing a transformation in how we do things, how we fuel our fleets, how we grow our shellfish, and feed our salmon,” BIM economics and strategic services director Dominic Rihan said.

He said the industry is looking at a range of new technologies, alternative fuel sources as well as operational changes to reduce their carbon emissions.

Investment in the future for such initiatives will be provided through the European and Maritime, Aquaculture and Fisheries Fund, under which Ireland has received total funding of €258.4 million, he noted.

“There is also a lot of work done on waste and plastics reduction. All these initiatives contribute to lower greenhouse emissions from the sector,”he said.

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Goatsbridge Trout Farm in Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny, has completed a €1.68 million investment, which will allow it to increase production of its popular trout products and improve efficiencies. The investment, which included a factory extension, upgrading and introducing new state-of-the-art production lines, and installing solar panels, was supported with grant aid of €666,540 from the Brexit Processing Capital Support Scheme and the Brexit Sustainable Aquaculture Growth Scheme, administered by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM).

The new investment will also protect the current 27 jobs in the business and hopefully increase the numbers employed in the next year. Goatsbridge produces smoked trout, trout pâté, fish chowder, and Ireland's only caviar made from trout roe. The investment will transform the business, which is run by Mag Kirwan and her husband Ger, allowing it to pursue its strategy to produce more high-volume, high-margin products to increase domestic and overseas sales.

The investment will also pave the way for the business to become carbon-neutral in the coming 3 to 5 years. "We want to be sustainable not just from a business point of view, but more importantly, from an environmental point of view. We want to protect what we have for generations to come," said Mag Kirwan.

The Brexit Processing Capital Support Scheme and the Brexit Sustainable Aquaculture Growth Scheme will deliver up to €65 million in funding to the Irish seafood processing sector. Both schemes are funded by the European Union under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve and are recommendations of the Seafood Taskforce established by Minister for Agriculture, Food, and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D.

According to Mags Kirwan, the investment will improve energy efficiency. "As well as solar panels, we have upgraded existing doors to improve temperature control in the production area, and added a blast chiller to improve the processing of products including caviar." The new solar panels will radically cut down on Goatsbridge's energy costs, reducing the impact of climate change on the business.

Ger and Mag Kirwan pictured at the new solar panels at Goatsbridge Trout Farm in Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny. The panels which will improve energy efficiency at the farm were supported with grant aid under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve schemeGer and Mag Kirwan pictured at the new solar panels at Goatsbridge Trout Farm in Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny. The panels which will improve energy efficiency at the farm were supported with grant aid under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve scheme

Goatsbridge products are available in Irish retail outlets and are sold in 400 Sainsbury's outlets in the UK. Recently, the company landed a deal to stock its popular products through the Ocado online food company in the UK. Goatsbridge is currently pursuing exports further afield, with negotiations underway for a possible listing in the Dubai-based Spinneys supermarket and grocery chain, which has more than 65 locations across the UAE.

BIM CEO Caroline Bocquel said, "It is great to see at first hand the positive impact of the Brexit Processing Capital Support Scheme on fish businesses, including Goatsbridge. Mag and Ger have been true champions in the Irish seafood industry for almost 30 years and are constantly adapting and innovating and seeking to be more efficient."

Goatsbridge Trout Farm was started by Ger Kirwan's father, Padraig, in 1961 when he created the first fish ponds on The Little Arrigle River in the heart of the Nore Valley. Ger and Mag took over the business in 2002.

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Kelly Oysters, a multi-award-winning seafood business based in Galway, is set to expand its sales of mussels for the domestic market following a recent investment.

The €172,000 investment has been supported by BIM, with €74,844 coming from the Brexit Processing Capital Support Scheme.

This significant investment will enable Kelly Oysters to "mussel" in on the growing seafood market and meet the increasing demand for high-quality seafood in Ireland. The expansion is expected to create new jobs and help drive growth in the local economy. The investment is a testament to the quality of Kelly Oysters' products and the company's commitment to sustainability and innovation in the seafood industry.

The scheme, which will deliver up to €45 million in funding to the Irish seafood processing sector, is funded by the European Union under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve. It was recommended by the Seafood Taskforce established by Minister for the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D.

Diarmuid and Michael Kelly of Kelly's Oysters in Galway Bay. As well as supplying the Oyster Festivals, Kelly Oysters supplies oysters throughout Ireland and around the world. Last season, these much sought-after delicacies were exported to 14 different countries. Photo: Andrew DownesDiarmuid and Michael Kelly of Kelly's Oysters in Galway Bay. As well as supplying the Oyster Festivals, Kelly Oysters supplies oysters throughout Ireland and around the world. Last season, these much sought-after delicacies were exported to 14 different countries. Photo: Andrew Downes

Diarmuid Kelly, one of two brothers who runs the business, said the investment has seen the introduction of a new production system which will package small-sized bags of mussels suitable for home preparations. He sees this as opening the doors for new sales channels at home and abroad.

Kelly Oysters recently won a prestigious Euro-Toques Food Award for its outstanding Blue Rope Mussels, and for its contribution to regenerative aquaculture in Ireland. “We were so proud to win this award. It is recognition of the work we put into producing the finest shellfish possible.” said Diarmuid Kelly.

Kelly Oysters recently won a prestigious Euro-Toques Food Award for its outstanding Blue Rope MusselsKelly Oysters recently won a prestigious Euro-Toques Food Award for its outstanding Blue Rope Mussels

At present the live mussels produced by the Kelly’s are mainly packed in 10kg to 15 kg bags for the food service and wholesale market. But they are not suitable for retail sales.

Said Diarmuid Kelly: “We noticed an increase in demand from fish wholesalers for smaller sized packaging during the Covid-19 pandemic and this trend has remained. Market research is telling us that consumers are looking for produce that is semi prepared and ready to cook. Our new smaller 1kg packaging is an opportunity to drive increased sales into retail, and direct to consumer channels.”

Traditionally, handier 1kg net bags of mussels have been produced by hand, something which was very labour intensive. But thanks to the recent investment, supported by BIM, Kelly Oysters has introduced a product line that will prepare, weigh, pack and label 1kg bags of mussels that are fully traceable from farm to fork.

The live mussels produced by the Kelly’s are mainly packed in 10kg to 15 kg bags for the food service and wholesale marketThe live mussels produced by the Kelly’s are mainly packed in 10kg to 15 kg bags for the food service and wholesale market

“Our investment will add huge value to our existing produce,” said Diarmuid Kelly. “From existing inquiries, we estimate a demand of 20 tonnes of 1kg packs of mussels per annum, growing to 50 tonnes over three years. We are very excited about the new chapter and the prospect of welcoming new generations of shellfish lovers to our product.”

For more than seven decades the Kelly family has been successfully farming delicious, top quality oysters, mussels and shellfish in the crystal-clear waters of Galway Bay. Its sustainably farmed oysters grace the tables of some of the finest restaurants and hotels in Ireland and around the world.

Kelly Oysters was first set up by Diarmuid’s father, Michael, in 1952. At that stage there was only a wild stock of oysters on the west coast, and no oyster farming. “My grandfather, who was also called Michael, was an oyster dredger and he would dredge wild oysters from the bottom of the sea from a fishing boat. It was my father Michael who formally set up the business and started selling oysters to restaurants.”

Kelly Oysters is a multi-award-winning family seafood business based in GalwayKelly Oysters is a multi-award-winning family seafood business based in Galway

The passion and love for the business was passed down to sons Diarmuid and Micheal. But pivotal also to the business are their wives Mary (married to Micheal) and Theresa (married to Diarmuid) who work full time in the business. In addition, Micheals, son Michael junior, is on the staff of ten.

Said Diarmuid: “Where we are now is very much due to the hard work and dedication that our entire team put in every day. The Brexit Processing Capital Support Scheme has been a huge help to us, and was the incentive for us to introduce our new product line which will help us become more efficient and to reach new customers.”

The Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit created several challenges for the business with significant disruption to sales.

“We realised to meet the economic and future needs of this family business; a new strategy was required which included adding value to existing products, and which did not rely solely on the existing wholesale foodservice market.”

Currently Kelly Oysters sell approximately 30 per cent of its product abroad, and 70 per cent to the domestic market. It exports oysters to 14 countries around the world, including Canada and Singapore.

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The Irish aquaculture sector has shown significant growth and sustained employment opportunities, according to the Annual Aquaculture Report for 2022 published by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM). Despite a reduction in the number of Production Units (PUs) due to consolidation within the shellfish segments, employment increased in both the finfish and shellfish sectors. 

In 2022, the sector contributed €208 million to the economy, supporting 2,008 jobs and generating a full-time equivalent (FTE) of 1,177 across 292 PUs. The average individual salary for the year was €34,372 per worker. 

The report highlights that 44,623 tonnes of aquaculture products were sold directly at the farmgate, generating sales of €186 million, representing a 4% increase in both volume and value compared to the previous year. The production involved 554,000 culture structures, covering over 12,250 hectares of licensed ground throughout the country. 

The largest contributor to national sales value was the culture of Atlantic salmon, amounting to €104 million in 2022. This diverse segment demonstrated multiplier effects evident in turnover, employment, and gross value added. The mussel and oyster-producing segments led the sector in terms of employment, generating €76 million in 2022 and providing work for 1,693 people across 260 PUs. 

However, a survey on the sector's technical challenges highlighted the struggle of shellfish segments in sourcing or retaining suitably trained staff. To address this issue, businesses are exploring technologies that have the potential to reduce or eliminate labour-intensive tasks in production.

The full report is available at bim.ie

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Galway Port & Harbour

Galway Bay is a large bay on the west coast of Ireland, between County Galway in the province of Connacht to the north and the Burren in County Clare in the province of Munster to the south. Galway city and port is located on the northeast side of the bay. The bay is about 50 kilometres (31 miles) long and from 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) to 30 kilometres (19 miles) in breadth.

The Aran Islands are to the west across the entrance and there are numerous small islands within the bay.

Galway Port FAQs

Galway was founded in the 13th century by the de Burgo family, and became an important seaport with sailing ships bearing wine imports and exports of fish, hides and wool.

Not as old as previously thought. Galway bay was once a series of lagoons, known as Loch Lurgan, plied by people in log canoes. Ancient tree stumps exposed by storms in 2010 have been dated back about 7,500 years.

It is about 660,000 tonnes as it is a tidal port.

Capt Brian Sheridan, who succeeded his late father, Capt Frank Sheridan

The dock gates open approximately two hours before high water and close at high water subject to ship movements on each tide.

The typical ship sizes are in the region of 4,000 to 6,000 tonnes

Turbines for about 14 wind projects have been imported in recent years, but the tonnage of these cargoes is light. A European industry report calculates that each turbine generates €10 million in locally generated revenue during construction and logistics/transport.

Yes, Iceland has selected Galway as European landing location for international telecommunications cables. Farice, a company wholly owned by the Icelandic Government, currently owns and operates two submarine cables linking Iceland to Northern Europe.

It is "very much a live project", Harbourmaster Capt Sheridan says, and the Port of Galway board is "awaiting the outcome of a Bord Pleanála determination", he says.

90% of the scrap steel is exported to Spain with the balance being shipped to Portugal. Since the pandemic, scrap steel is shipped to the Liverpool where it is either transhipped to larger ships bound for China.

It might look like silage, but in fact, its bales domestic and municipal waste, exported to Denmark where the waste is incinerated, and the heat is used in district heating of homes and schools. It is called RDF or Refuse Derived Fuel and has been exported out of Galway since 2013.

The new ferry is arriving at Galway Bay onboard the cargo ship SVENJA. The vessel is currently on passage to Belem, Brazil before making her way across the Atlantic to Galway.

Two Volvo round world races have selected Galway for the prestigious yacht race route. Some 10,000 people welcomed the boats in during its first stopover in 2009, when a festival was marked by stunning weather. It was also selected for the race finish in 2012. The Volvo has changed its name and is now known as the "Ocean Race". Capt Sheridan says that once port expansion and the re-urbanisation of the docklands is complete, the port will welcome the "ocean race, Clipper race, Tall Ships race, Small Ships Regatta and maybe the America's Cup right into the city centre...".

The pandemic was the reason why Seafest did not go ahead in Cork in 2020. Galway will welcome Seafest back after it calls to Waterford and Limerick, thus having been to all the Port cities.

© Afloat 2020