17th July

Aquaculture plays 'key role' in local employment and economy

A report on the sustainable development of Irish aquaculture has been welcomed by the Irish Farmers Association who says it supports their long-term call for a more focused and coherent policy towards marine and freshwater farming.

Richie Flynn, Executive of the Aquaculture section of the IFA, said the report, Sustainable Development in Irish Aquaculture, published by the National Economic & Social Council, recognises the key role that aquaculture plays in terms of employment and economic activity in rural areas as well as maintaining and enhancing the environment.

NESC report

There is an urgent requirement now to build resilience in the aquaculture sector through an overhaul of the licensing system and this report should spur Minister Creed and the Department into action to finally tackle this issue,” he said.

Read more: Aquaculture plays 'key role' in local employment and economy

Aquaculture in Ireland has ‘bright future’ – conference told

Marine Minister Michael Creed has been urged to ensure “swift and measurable action” to review procedures, reduce red tape and encourage development of the shellfish sector.

At the annual meeting of the Irish Shellfish Association, outgoing chairman Jerry Gallagher said “specific actions” were required to back up the broad aspirations of the seafood sector contained in the Programme for Government.

IFA Aqua 2016 

IFA president Joe Healy congratulates new Irish Shellfish Association chairman, Michael Mulloy (left) on his election

Coastal communities have waited too long for “affirmative action by the State” to encourage investment in aquaculture and create long-lasting jobs, he added.

Read more: Aquaculture in Ireland has ‘bright future’ – conference told

Irish shellfish sector demands sea-change

Oyster, mussel and shellfish farmers are set to converge at an IFA Aquaculture conference in Athlone to discuss issues affecting domestic and international markets that employ hundreds of coastal inhabitants and generate economic development in peripheral areas.

Kenmare Bay3

Salmon farming in Kenmare Bay, Co Kerry

Chairman Jerry Gallagher says the 'new government' will have a lot to do implement objectives set out in Foodwise 2025; Our Ocean Wealth, the National Seafood Operational Programme. 

Read more: Irish shellfish sector demands sea-change

Scientists gather to discuss seaweed potential in the Caribbean

Dr Simon Faulkner, Ocean Harvest Technology

International seaweed experts gathered in February on Sir Richard Branson’s Moskito Island in the British Virgin Islands to discuss the potential of exploiting seaweeds commonly found in the Caribbean.

12.2 OHT1 Sir Richard Branson ask a question on the use of seaweed in animal feed

Sir Richard Branson asks a question about using seaweed in animal feed

Entitled Sargassum Seaweed Phenomenon – Assessing the problem, Finding Solutions, Harnessing the Economic Benefits, the conference centred around two seaweed species: Sargassum natans and Sargassum fluitans, whose presence over the last few years in increasingly large quantities in the Caribbean region, is causing concern and will lead to a negative impact on the local tourism industry.

Read more: Scientists gather to discuss seaweed potential in the Caribbean

Aquaculture 4-year European study secures €7m funding

As concerns around sustainability of food security continue to rise, a team of European aquaculture experts are embarking on a four-year study to establish new strategies and models for sustainable growth in the industry.

The Tools for Assessment and Planning of Aquaculture Sustainability (TAPAS) project led by the University of Stirling will create cost-efficient management tools and practices for the European aquaculture sector to investigate obstacles to fish farming activity. These include: location; social interaction; potential environmental impacts and future risks.

Aquaculture Study 2

Mussel lines in Killary Fjord, north Connemara. Photo Gillian Mills

Professor Trevor Telfer, Institute of Aquaculture, is leading the multi-partnership study that aims to establish a comprehensive ‘toolbox’ to support transparent and efficient licensing; enhance environment sustainability and aquatic food security while tapping into the potential for food production and jobs.

Read more: Aquaculture 4-year European study secures €7m funding

Macroalgal minerals for a healthier diet

Dr Simon Faulkner, Ocean Harvest Technology

Macroalgae contain nutritional components such as proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals; however, the levels of these components are dependent on seaweed species, geographical location and a number of additional environmental factors.

12.1 OHT

In recent years, much attention has been given to the unique composition of macroalgae; in particular, the high levels of bioactive compounds including polysaccharides, proteins, amino acids and polyphenols.

(The Irish seaweed Fucus vesiculosus is high in minerals and trace elements such as Iodine. Harvested on the west coast, OHT produces extracts for various applications)

Read more: Macroalgal minerals for a healthier diet

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