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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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