The bumper 72-page Aquaculture & Seafood Ireland 2016 comprises news, views, reports and product information, with articles by seventeen informed contributors who know the aquaculture, fisheries and seafood industry from the inside out.
BIM’s Ian Mannix reports that the domestic Irish retail market for seafood is now valued at over €210m per annum and is serviced by 130 independent seafood retailers and over 400 supermarket seafood counters around the country.
He says these outlets, which offer a wide array of fresh, frozen and value-added produce to an increasingly discerning and knowledgeable customer base, are experiencing positive growth after a number of slower years during the economic downturn.
This optimism is reflected by Karen Devereux of Bord Bia writing from Seafood Expo Global - the world’s largest seafood trade event – where Bord Bia again showcased the very best of our seafood industry, by hosting 20 Irish seafood companies on the Origin Green/Ireland national stand.
Karen notes that Irish seafood exports recorded further growth in 2015, rising by 6% to reach €570m. In volume terms, exports stood at 248,000 tonnes, down over 5% on 2014. The rise in export values reflects a jump of 12% in average export prices, which more than offset the drop in volumes.The rise in unit prices demonstrates the on-going strength of demand in most key markets.
This positivity continues in an article by Lynn Gilmore of Seafish Northern Ireland who reports on the key role played by the Northern Ireland Fish Producers Organisation. Lynn also introduces husband and wife team Bob and Joanne McCoubrey who, in 2005, made the transition from oyster producers in Carlingford Lough to opening their first Mourne Seafood Bar in Dundrum, Co. Down – in their own home.
Their success encouraged the couple to partner with dynamic local chef, Andy Rea, to open a second Mourne Seafood Bar in central Belfast where it has grown in popularity with locals and tourists alike.
The restaurant, at 34-36 Bank Street, has since expanded and now includes a fishmonger’s counter and incorporates the Belfast Cookery School where regular seafood cookery classes introduce seafood cookery skills to the participants.
Other articles include a no-holds-barred look at investment opportunities in Ireland’s seafood industry from straight talking independent marine finance consultant Art Kavanagh. He has has no doubt that international investment funds are readily available for Irish aquaculture, but only when more certainty is brought to the licensing system.
And there is a somewhat disturbing piece by Benen Dallaghan of BIM who points to some of the possible impacts that climate change could have on aquaculture and fisheries. These include rising sea temperature, ocean acidification, changes in ocean currents, increasing storms and sea level changes – all of which he says can be mitigated to some degree if societies and businesses begin operating in a sustainable way while working towards the spirit of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
This year’s issue also includes contact details of seafood producers; processors; suppliers; exporters and State agencies from the island of Ireland.
Aquaculture & Seafood Ireland 2016 is a must-read for anyone interested in seafood.