18th October

Accelerator programme for Ireland's aquaculture industry

Agtech, analytics and AI are among the technologies being used by start-up companies from the UK, Chile, India, Canada and the US, taking part in Ireland's first accelerator programme for aquaculture.

BIM Hatch 03

The three-month programme is aimed at upscaling early-stage entrepreneurs with aquaculture innovations, and offers mentorship from global experts in aquaculture, technology, finance and marketing disciplines, along with access to investors. 

Read more: Accelerator programme for Ireland's aquaculture industry

Four-wheel remote aquaculture classroom

Students will be able to learn how fish is produced and farmed when an Aquaculture Remote Classroom begins visiting national schools nationwide from September.

BIM ARC launch 2018

Sadhbh Hendrick and Deanna Dooley enjoying the ARC headsets

Speaking at the launch during 'Our Ocean Wealth' conference in Galway last month, BIM's chief executive Jim O'Toole said ARC would engage students and help bridge the gap in understanding how seafood is sustainably produced in Irish waters.

Read more: Four-wheel remote aquaculture classroom

Shellfish producers slam level of sewage discharge

EPA Urban waste water report for 2016Irish shellfish producers have called for action on what they say is ‘a shocking report’ from the EPA on raw sewage discharges to sea.

IFA’s shellfish farming sector chairman, Michael Mulloy, said the report, which shows a dramatic increase in breaches of sewage treatment regulations around the coast, “must be acted upon immediately” if Ireland is to retain its reputation for safe quality seafood.

Read more: Shellfish producers slam level of sewage discharge

Sea trout collapse: a complicated issue

Martin Jaffa

In May 1989, many of the sea trout smolts returning early to their native rivers along parts of Ireland’s west coast after only a short time at sea were emaciated, and the flesh of others was white rather than pink. As to why these fish were starving and unable to find food are questions that have never been answered.

Aquaculture sea lice Bellacraher GF

Sea cages in Bealacragher Bay near Mulranny, Co Mayo

That same year, a population collapse occurred in most mid-western sea trout fisheries although most populations had been in slow decline for many years.

Read more: Sea trout collapse: a complicated issue

Irish shellfish safety reporting goes live

The Marine Institute - as the EU designated national reference laboratory for shellfish toxins and shellfish microbiology in Ireland - has launched a shellfish safety website. Incorporating user-friendly info-graphics and maps, the site hosts information on recent trends analysis as well as current status of shellfish production areas.

MI shellfish safety website

The Institute carries out a year-round national testing programme to ensure all shellfish are safe before being placed on the market for human consumption.

"With over one hundred coastal aquaculture production areas farming a variety of shellfish species, and many more offshore areas being fished commercially, it is essential that an efficient and accurate method of communicating these test results is in place," explains Joe Silke, manager of shellfish safety at the Marine Institute.

The open status of shellfish production areas is necessary before product can be placed on the market. This open status depends on clear tests being obtained for a comprehensive range of shellfish toxins; harmful algal species from water samples must also be tested on an ongoing basis. Microbiological classification status is assigned on the basis of ongoing testing.

Read more: Irish shellfish safety reporting goes live

Increase in Irish aquaculture production

Irish aquaculture production topped 44,000 tonnes in 2016 – a 9% increase in volume over the previous year which translates to a first point-of-sale value of €167m and accounts for 1,900 jobs, up 6%, according to the 2017 BIM Annual Aquaculture Survey.

BIM 2017 Aquaculture Survey

Mussel farming. Photo courtesy SFPA

In 2016, the survey notes that Gigas oyster production at 10,000 tonnes accounted for 25% of Ireland’s overall aquaculture production – up 11% on 2015. Even more significant however was the increase in value of this species over the previous year – up from €35m to €41m. In value terms, Gigas oysters now account for 74% of Ireland’s shellfish aquaculture.

Read more: Increase in Irish aquaculture production

Spread the News

Accelerator programme for Ireland's aquaculture industry
Four-wheel remote aquaculture classroom
Shellfish producers slam level of sewage discharge
Sea trout collapse: a complicated issue