Ireland's €1.1 billion Seafood Sector Records Growth of Over 7%

BIM National Seafood Conference Focuses on the Future of Irish Seafood.

29 June 2017

Galway, 29th June 2017 – Ireland’s Seafood Sector grew by 7.4% contributing €1.1 billion in GDP to the Irish economy according to Bord Iascaigh Mhara’s (BIM) annual ‘Business of Seafood’ report launched today at the National Seafood Conference ‘Winning in a Changing Environment’ in the Radisson Blu Hotel.

Presenting a detailed review of Ireland’s Seafood Sector in 2016, available here (pdf 10,789Kb) , BIM are reporting growth in the industry which has primarily been driven by another strong year of domestic seafood sales at €380 million and an increase in private investment by seafood enterprises.

The report also details the significant value of our seafood landed and farmed around our coast as Jim O’Toole, BIM’s CEO explains; ‘As we gather in Galway ahead of SeaFest 2017 which is all about celebrating the marine, it is positive to be able to report further growth in the Irish Seafood Sector of over 7% to €1.1 billion in GDP. We have a valuable and sought after raw material that is in great demand on our key markets contributing €376 million in fish landings alone, €167 million in farmed fish and shellfish and employing 11,000 people in our coastal communities. The task facing the sector now is to build on this growth, add value and diversify to withstand current challenges including Brexit. BIM will continue to provide supports to enable this valuable industry to achieve its full potential and our conference today sets out how we intend to future proof the sector in the years ahead’

The conference moderated by RTE Dragon’s Den mentor and entrepreneur Gavin Duffy, attracted over 200 delegates from fishing, processing, retail and aquaculture sectors with delegates arriving early to join the Pre Conference Brexit Session hosted by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D.

The conference programme is focused on BIM’s priorities for the sector; Skills, Sustainability, Innovation and Competitiveness and led by BIM’s CEO Jim O’Toole, a range of experts across these fields including Øvyind Fylling-Jensen, Chief Executive of Norwegian research agency Nofima; Gilles Doignon, Communications Officer with the European Commission (DG Mare); Dr. Joanne Fearon, University College Cork, Barry Robinson, Deloitte and Digital Communications Expert Wayne Denner will provide invaluable insights for the plenary sessions with panellists from all sectors of the Irish seafood industry.

BIM’s National Seafood Conference is being held in association with SeaFest, an annual maritime festival that includes Our Ocean Wealth Summit (Friday 30th June, NUI Galway) and a family festival to include the BIM Educational Seafood Experience running from the 30th June – 2nd July at the docks in Galway. For more information, please visit www.seafest.ie