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Displaying items by tag: aquaculture

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 delighted to announce the approval of a €3.4 million investment by 15 aquaculture enterprises with €1.3 million support from my Department’s EMFF Programme. The latest investments are aimed at boosting production at oyster, mussel and salmon sites around our coast. It is heartening to see this continuing confidence in the future by these ambitious aquaculture enterprises. While recent months were challenging for many aquaculture businesses, the overall trend has been one of growing world demand for our seafood products.”

As SMEs, most of the aquaculture businesses received grants of 40% towards the cost of their investments, with one non-SME receiving 30%, a new entrant to the sector receiving 50% and one investment in organic certification also receiving 50%. The grants are co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union and are subject to terms and conditions.

Grant approvals - Sustainable Aquaculture Scheme

Beneficiary

Location

Project

Total Investment

EMFF Grant

Rate

Derrylea Holdings

Galway

Organic Certification of Farmed Atlantic Salmon

€7,500

€3,750

50%

Sliogéisc Inisheane Teoranta

Donegal

Capacity increase in oyster seed production

€28,723

€11,489

40%

Feirm Farriage Oileán Chliara Teoranta

Donegal

Phase 3: Installation of grid frames and construction of Aquaculture Workboat

€761,595

€228,478

30%

Glenn Hunter

Sligo

Construction of an oyster handling facility

€68,747

€34,373

50%

Ocean Farm Ltd

Donegal

Phase 3: Upgrade of salmon farm technology

€1,261,663

€504,665

40%

Skipper Shellfish Ltd

Kerry

Phase 2: Increase capacity of oyster farm

€25,876

€10,350

40%

Northern Bay Oyster Ltd

Donegal

Increase capacity of oyster farm

€29,670

€11,868

40%

Mulroy Bay Mussels Ltd

Donegal

Investment in new handling equipment

€75,900

€ 30,360

40%

Killary Fjord Shellfish Ltd

Galway

Upgrade of rope mussel farm to continuous longline system

€17,120

€6,848

40%

Woodstown Bay Shellfish Ltd

Waterford

Phase 2: Increase capacity of oyster farm

€606,815

€242,726

40%

Oceanic Organic Oysters Ltd

Donegal

Phase 2: Increase capacity on oyster farm

€183,145

€73,258

40%

Rosmoney Shellfish Ltd

Mayo

Increase capacity of oyster farm

€124,980

€49,992

40%

Seastream Ltd

Mayo

Purchase of smolt feeding system

€60,000

€24,000

40%

Rodeen Fish Farms Ltd

Cork

Phase 3: Introduction of continuous rope mussel system

€83,197

€33,278

40%

Seal Harbour Enterprises Ltd

Cork

Phase 3: Upgrade of rope mussel equipment

€ 42,100

€16,840

40%

Total:

 

 

€3,377,031

€1,282,277

 

Published in Aquaculture
Tagged under

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 vital for brain function, heart and many other benefits. Salmon is the most popular fish bought by Irish families. In Ireland most of our salmon are farmed, and along with mussels and oysters, are the main farmed species in the country. 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 tonne 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 from 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.

One innovative solution being investigated to deal with these issues is called integrated multi-trophic aquaculture, or IMTA.

Growing of scallops at Lehanagh PoolGrowing of scallops at Lehanagh Pool

IMTA is a different way of thinking about aquatic food production and is based on the concept of the ´food chain’. It involves farming multiple, complementary species from different levels of the food chain together for their mutual benefit, where the waste by-products from the fish providing food for another species. Shellfish filter out microscopic plants and organic content from the water column to grow, and seaweeds and plants absorb the minerals from the water for them to grow. Growing shellfish and seaweed species in close proximity to fed fish mimics these natural cycles in the seas and creates a local ecosystem where the wastage and impacts are reduced, and the productivity and diversity of products from the site is increased.

The Marine Institutes’ aquaculture research site in Lehanagh Pool in Connemara is an example of IMTA, where salmon are reared on site, with scallops and seaweeds growing alongside helping to remove the organic inputs. IMTA is seen as a promising solution for sustainable aquaculture development.

The Institute is coordinating the innovative Horizon2020 IMPAQT project which is working to promote aquaculture production based on IMTA, by addressing the lack of data and tools to assess the factors that affect IMTA, and to enable a real-time response to production challenges, environmental impacts and seafood quality.

Growing of seaweed on a lineGrowing of seaweed on a line

The project is developing a computerised, artificially intelligent, management platform which analyses the environment, the fish behaviour, and data from other sources such as satellite data, image analysis, and inputs from the farmer on site. This is used to inform fish welfare and water quality and to provide real-time operational feedback and advice to the farmer on the management of their site. The technologies include new sensors, wireless communication systems, and state of the art software utilising the internet of things. This system is being designed and tested at the Institute’s research site in Lehanagh Pool, at Keywater Fisheries IMTA site in Sligo, in collaboration with our international partners at other sites across Europe, and in Turkey and China.

Published in Marine Science
Tagged under

Campaigners against salmon farms have raised concerns over the state of Irish wrasse stocks after it was confirmed the fish have been taken en masse to help clean lice from farmed salmon.

As Donegal News reports, a number of salmon farms in Donegal, Galway and other areas owned by Mowi — the former Marine Harvest — have between them moved in tonnes of wild wrasse, a known ‘cleaner fish’ that feeds on sea lice, over the past four years.

Responding to a Dáil debate question from Catherine Connolly TD this past summer, Marine Minister Michael Creed confirmed that “several special of cleaner fish are used in Ireland as a method of controlling sea lice”.

But there are fears that the mass withdrawal of wrasse and other such species from the wild could tip the balance of Ireland’s delicate marine ecosystem.

“The absence of wild wrasse in bays may result in stress and disease in other large species of fish which rely on wrasse to keep them clean of parasites,” said Billy Smyth, chair of Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages.

Donegal News has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing

Galway Bay FM reports that An Bord Pleanála has refused planning permission for a development at a Connemara site overseen by Udarás na Gaeltachta.

Plans for the Páirc na Mara facility were previously approved by Galway County Council, but continued to face opposition from local groups concerned that the initial proposals would develop into a full-scale salmon farming facility.

That decision has now been overturned by the national planning authority, according to Galway Bay FM.

Four months ago the Páirc na Mara marine project had welcomed the announcement of €2 million in funding from the Business, Enterprise and Innovation to develop a market-focused marine innovation and development centre at the Cill Chiaráin site.

Published in Coastal Notes

The latest research and knowledge on oyster diseases was presented at a meeting on Pacific oyster health held recently by the Marine Institute’s Fish Health Unit.

The event attracted more than 80 participants from Ireland’s oyster farming industry, as well as representatives from Ireland’s seafood development agency Bord Iascaigh Mhara.

Presentations focused on mortality, disease management and current national and international research in oyster health.

Oyster mortalities in recent years in Ireland have been mainly associated with either Ostreid herpes virus-1 μVar (OsHV-1 μVar) infection or the bacterium Vibrio aestuarianus. Both diseases cause significant oyster mortality events and an economic loss to oyster farmers and producers.

Researchers from the Marine Institute and University College Cork presented the major findings from the REPOSUS project, funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s FIRM programme.

The three-year REPOSUS project focused on reducing the impact of pathogens associated with mortalities in Pacific oysters. This included results from sentinel trials in disease impacted bays, molecular and pathogenicity characterisation studies on isolates of OsHV-1 and rache and studies on environmental parameters which influence mortality.

French institute IFREMER also presented the latest results from the VIVALDI project (Preventing and Migrating Farmed Bivalve Diseases) funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

VIVALDI combines European research resources to better understand shellfish diseases and improve the sustainability and competitiveness of the European shellfish industry. The Marine Institute is one of 21 partners involved in this research project.

Industry representatives from Ireland also shared their experience of managing losses in shellfish production due to oyster disease and mortality on their sites.

This feedback, along with research presented, will be used to update the current best practice guide for disease control and management in Ireland's oyster industry.

Published in Fishing

Kinsale Yacht Club is encouraging its members to make submissions on the recent licence application for a mussel farm off Castlepark Beach in the West Cork harbour.

Following its previous trial in the area, Woodstown Bay Shellfish — based in Dunmore East, Co Waterford — made its application late last year for an Aquaculture Licence to dredge for mussels at a site of around 25 hectares beyond James Fort.

The application also states that the site is located in or adjacent to a sensitive area, the closest to the site being the Sovereign Islands Special Protection Area.

A public notice was published in the Southern Star last Thursday 7 February, and submissions must be made prior to Wednesday 6 March quoting the reference T05/472A to:

Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine
Aquaculture and Foreshore Management Division
National Seafood Centre
Clonakilty, Co Cork

All submissions must be signed and no fee is required.

Kinsale Yacht Club Commodore David O’Sullivan confirmed that the club has already made its own submission on behalf of KYC members, which is available on the club’s website.

The letter cites the strong tidal current in the proposed location of the mussel bed as a concern – and suggests a recent "notable increase" in mussel growth in the marina, allegedly resulting from mussels from the trial being washed towards the town after stormy conditions.

“We must do all we can to preserve our beautiful harbour and every little helps,” Cdre O’Sullivan said.

Published in Kinsale

#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 yesterday (Monday 18 June), the minister said: “Ireland expects to fully spend its 2014-2020 allocation and we foresee increasing investment opportunities and demands for the 2021-2027 period.

“I would like to highlight one particular area of initial concern that we have identified, namely the apparent proposal to restrict EMFF aid for capital investment in aquaculture and seafood processing to financial instruments only. Currently such a restriction applies to large scale operators only.

“The majority of our operators are small or medium enterprises. Depriving them of grant aid would have a very negative impact on our policy objectives to grow scale and add value in our processing and aquaculture sectors.

Minister Creed added: “While we are in favour of continued and increased use of financial instruments, we must continue to have recourse to grant aid where these are most appropriate.”

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

#PáircNaMara - Galway County Council is seeking further details on the Páirc na Mara development for Connemara, following an objection from a local group opposed to salmon farming.

New plans for the ‘marine innovation park’ were submitted late last year by Údáras na Gaeltachta, envisaging a low-carbon marine industry hub over nine hectares, and with a focus on aquaculture research.

But as Galway Bay FM reports, an objection by Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages — which has long campaigned against aquaculture projects in the region — has “caused anger in west Connemara” where the park is slated to be developed.

The situation has now prompted the council to seek more information on the fish farming aspects of the project.

Galway Bay FM has more on the story HERE.

Published in Galway Harbour

#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 Athlone Institute of Technology will look at new techniques that can reduce disease rates in inland aquaculture and the accompanying risk of transmission to fish in the wild.

Concerns over the latter were raised after a number of farmed salmon escaped into five rivers in Galway and Mayo last October.

Green News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Science
Tagged under

#MarineScience - A new planning application is set to be submitted for the proposed ‘marine innovation park’ in Connemara, as Galway Bay FM reports.

Páirc na Mara is envisaged as a low-carbon marine industry hub over nine hectares, with a focus on aquaculture research.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the new research cluster would form part of a network including the existing Marine Institute facilities at Newport in Co Mayo.

The deadline for expressions of interest in the revised project is tomorrow, Friday 1 December.

Galway Bay FM has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Science
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