26th June

Aquaculture licensing in Ireland requires 'root and branch' reform

'Root and branch' reform of the aquaculture licence application process is necessary, according to a report (Review of the Aquaculture Licensing Process) published by the Independent Aquaculture Licence Review Committee.

The reform needs to be 'comprehensive in scope' and to focus on 'immediate actions which can producte results in the short term as well as initiatives which will bear fruit in the longer term'.

Leeane 2017

Killary Fjord, Co Galway. Action plan prosposes 24 recommendations to increase  Ireland's aquaculture output by 45,000 tonnes. Photo G Mills 

It concludes that an implementation strategy 'will assign responsiblity for recommendations, accountability and set milestones for delivery and identify the necessary resources to support the implementation process'.

Read more: Aquaculture licensing in Ireland requires 'root and branch' reform

Major growth potential for Irish farmed salmon

In 2014, wild capture fisheries landed 93m globally; this figure has remained stable for over 25 years. 

Over the same duration, global per capita demand for seafood has risen from 14 to 20kg person. To meet this demand, aquaculture, which now provides more than half of all seafood destined for human consumption, has intensified. In Ireland, salmon aquaculture has been cited as a ‘growth area’,  with government estimates suggesting a 78% increase in farmed production by 2020, is achievable. 

NUIG Liam Carr

Such growth however carries ‘concomitant environmental and socioecominic impacts’ says Dr Liam Carr, Whitaker Institute, NUI Galway, and author of 'Fishing for salmon farming consensus in Ireland' which studied the views of 86 ‘high level well-informed stakeholders who rank-sorted 56 statements’ covering six interrelated salmon aquaculture discourses: Regulatory Oversight; Spatial Conflict; Environmental Impacts; Technology; Ecosystem Functionality and Market Drivers.

Read more: Major growth potential for Irish farmed salmon

Richard FitzGerald

22nd January 1957 to 5th December 2016

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam

Richard Fitzgerald

It is with deep sadness that we learned of the passing of Richard FitzGerald on 5th December 2016.

Richard was a Kerryman, reared in Beaufort, close to Killarney, where he was educated at St Brendan’s College. He completed a primary degree (B.Sc.) in Zoology at University College Cork where he was further awarded a PhD for studies on ecological interactions of fish-parasite communities under Professor Maire Mulcahy. He was involved in research and development in aquaculture for almost 30 years in a variety of roles and posts. Richard also held MBA and accountancy qualifications.

In the 1987, Richard began his career as Technical Director of Aquahatch - a salmon farming company, owned by the State venture capital agency NADCORP, based both in Lough Allen, Co. Leitrim and at Ballinaclash, Co. Wicklow.

Read more: Richard FitzGerald

Seaweeds found to combat diseases in farmed animals

Dr Stefan Kraan Ocean Harvest Technology

Producers of farmed animals ― be they pig, shrimp or salmon farmers ― have to deal with very specific and often costly issues associated with growth and disease. Viral and bacterial diseases adversely affect feed conversion ratio and weight gain because the animal diverts energy in a bid to combat infection.

OHT 3 different types of brown algae

Large biomass available of specific brown seaweeds for extraction of valuable compounds for immune stimulation

The key of course is to prevent such pathogens gaining a foothold in the first place, allowing them to become established and infectious. One system that helps is the innate immune system; in other words, the body’s own basic defense mechanism which operates besides the adaptive or acquired immune system that is dependent on vaccinations etc.

Read more: Seaweeds found to combat diseases in farmed animals

Creed commits to independent review of aquaculture licensing

IFA Aquaculture officers from the fish and shellfish farming sectors have met with the new Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, to discuss issues affecting their sectors.

Chairman of the Irish Shellfish Association, Michael Mulloy, and chairman of the Irish Salmon Growers’ Association, Damien O’Keefe, pressed the minister on the urgent need for a licencing system that was ‘fit-for-purpose’ to meet highest environmental standards, and customer requirements for greater supply of top quality Irish seafood.

IFA Aqua meeting 2016

The national policy document, Foodwise 2025, commits to expanding the industry and to reviewing licencing. The industry is currently worth €149m at primary production level and supports 2.3 jobs in the wider community for every on-farm employee. The industry currently employs 1,841 around the coast and in freshwater facilities inland.

Read more: Creed commits to independent review of aquaculture licensing

Undaria: the latest invasive seaweed species to reach Ireland

Dr Stefan Kraan, Ocean Harvest Technology

With seaweed being heralded as the superfood of the 21st century, many Irish people will be familiar with Wakame (Undaria pinnatifida), the edible brown seaweed - or sea vegetable – with a subtly sweet, nutty flavour, popular in Asian cusine, as an ingredient in healthy snack foods and a tasty additive for soups and salads.

12.3 OHT Undaria

Undaria growing in Kilmore Quay, Co Wexford

A member of the kelp family of seaweeds, Wakame is a native of the Pacific where it has been wild harvested for generations and more recently has been cultivated in large quantities for human consumption.

Read more: Undaria: the latest invasive seaweed species to reach Ireland

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Aquaculture licensing in Ireland requires 'root and branch' reform
Major growth potential for Irish farmed salmon
Richard FitzGerald
Seaweeds found to combat diseases in farmed animals