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Fresh Produce

Seafood industry remains robust, says review

Ireland’s seafood sector remains robust but could struggle to maintain market share moving forward, a recent report has found.

‘Our Ocean Wealth’ – a review of the marine plan of the same name – found that exports and the targeting of new markets are critical to maintaining growth in an industry worth some €822 million to the economy and employing roughly 11,000 people. According to the review piblished by BIM, seafood exports went up 29% from €378 million in 2010 to €489 million in 2013. As a result, Ireland is well on course to achieving its targets of generating €1 billion worth of seafood sales and creating a further 3,000 jobs in the industry.

The review also revealed that demand from traditional European markets has declined in recent years while seafood exports to emerging markets continue to grow – by 75% in the case of China.

BIM’s deputy chief executive Michael Keatinge claimed that Ireland’s seafood industry could face challenges in terms of supply moving forward but added that investing in aquaculture (such as sustainable fish farms) could pay significant dividends, given that quotas place limits on the annual catch.

“With the world's population expected to reach eight billion by 2025, the resulting demand for an additional 42 million tonnes of seafood globally by 2030 will put unprecedented pressure on Ireland's seafood sector to compete effectively for its global market share,” he said.

“Ireland could fully capitalise on the growing world demand for seafood by implementing the type of ambitious aquaculture initiatives proposed in the current marine plan which would see current aquaculture output increase by 78%.”

© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Conor William O’Brien

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