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Ireland to invest 241 million euros in seafood development

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Staff writer ▼ | April 1, 2015
A new expanded and wide ranging Seafood Development Programme for the period up to 2020 has been announced by the Ireland's Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
Ireland fishing
Mariculture   A new Seafood Development Programme
This new programme will involve a EUR 241 million investment, co-funded by the European Union (EU) through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and is subject to adoption by the European Commission.

"Our seafood sector is worth in the region of EUR 850 million annually to our economy, with exports growing by 70 per cent since 2009 to EUR 540 million," pointed out the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney TD.

"Seafood is widely recognised as a high growth area of our economy, with the potential to grow to EUR 1 billion by 2020. The investment package I am announcing today will be a key element in achievement of that growth potential. It will provide the capital to assist seafood enterprises to sustainably grow their production, add value to our seafood exports and create much needed employment in our coastal communities," the minister added.

Coveney also highlighted that under this Programme, EUR 147 million will be provided to Ireland under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and that the Government is providing an additional EUR 94 million in co-funding.

It has been proposed to invest EUR 42 million in implementing the new Common Fisheries Policy, including measures for developing more selective fishing gear, and supporting the new discards ban.

A further EUR 6 million has been proposed to be invested to build on the good work that has been ongoing over recent months to revive and sustainably grow the country's inshore fisheries, and EUR 30 million to sustainably develop the aquaculture industry and implement a new national plan for aquaculture.

EUR 12 million is to grow the seafood based economies of coastal communities through community led Fisheries Local Action Groups, and EUR 41 million to grow markets for seafood products, develop seafood processing industry and develop new value added products for those markets.