A dedicated seafood trail from Donegal town to Erris in Co Mayo involving five seafood producers and 14 seafood restaurants has joined the existing ‘Bay coast’ route from Erris to Galway Bay, involving six producers and 28 restaurants.

Taste the Atlantic

Pictured at the launch of Taste the Atlantic – a Seafood Journey in Drumcliff Bay, Sligo are some of the participating producers and restaurants

Taste the Atlantic – a Seafood Journey aims to educate visitors and Irish consumers how seafood is caught and farmed:

“The Wild Atlantic Way is the ideal platform to promote and celebrate the best of Irish seafood. BIM are particularly excited about this new route as it focuses on our less well known but exceptional fish and shellfish farmers who expertly cultivate premium oysters, abalone, mussels and Irish organic salmon,” remarked Tara McCarthy, BIM chief executive, at the launch in Lissadell House, Sligo.

She added that BIM’s objective is to utilise the trail to build a “greater appreciation and understanding” of the diversity and provenance of Irish seafood. 

“The trail is all about meeting the producer, understanding where the seafood is caught or farmed, and recognising the contribution these producers deliver to our economy.”

In 2015, over 250 shellfish and fish farming businesses were valued in excess of €150m, representing a 27% increase on the previous year. 

Co launching the trail, John Mulcahy, Head of Food Tourism at Fáilte Ireland outlined the importance of these initiatives:

“‘Taste the Atlantic’ provides a great opportunity to deepen visitor engagement and encourage those who travel along the route to slow down, dwell longer and immerse themselves in the local seafood traditions and practices of the west coast.”

Visitor experiences include traditional methods to smoke Irish organic salmon in Ballina, Co Mayo; sustainable farming of abalone in Galway and cultivating premium oysters in Lissadell, Co Sligo. 

BIM and Fáilte Ireland training for participating chefs and front-of-house staff includes on-site trips to mussel and oyster farms to build and improve their knowledge, and advice on planning a seafood menu within a budget.

For details about the 11 seafood producers and 42 restaurants in the Taste the Atlantic – a Seafood Journey, go to:

www.wildatlanticway.com/stories/food/seafood-itinerary/