BIM publishes its Annual Aquaculture Report for 2022

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the state agency responsible for developing the Irish seafood sector, has this week published its Annual Aquaculture Report for 2022. The report showcases the performance of the aquaculture sector in Ireland, highlighting significant growth in sales volume, generated value, and sustained employment opportunities.

Despite a reduced number of Production Units (PUs) due to consolidation within the shellfish segments, employment increased in both the finfish and shellfish sectors. In 2022, the sector contributed €208 million to the economy, supporting 2,008 jobs, with a full-time equivalent (FTE) of 1,177 across the 292 PUs. The average individual salary for the year was €34,372 per worker.

A total of 44,623 tonnes of aquaculture products were sold directly at the farmgate, generating sales of €186 million. This represents a 4% increase in both volume and value compared to the previous year. The production involved 554,000 culture structures, covering over 12,250 hectares of licensed ground throughout the country.

The culture of Atlantic salmon remained the largest contributor to national sales value, amounting to €104 million in 2022. With significant economic impacts locally and nationally, this diverse segment demonstrated multiplier effects evident in turnover, employment, and gross value added.

The mussel and oyster producing segments led the sector in terms of employment, with 1,693 people working across 260 PUs. These segments generated €76 million in 2022, with shellfish operations dispersed across all maritime regions of the country. A survey conducted on the sector’s technical challenges highlighted the struggle of shellfish segments in sourcing or retaining suitably trained staff. To address this issue, businesses are exploring technologies that have the potential to reduce or eliminate laboUr-intensive tasks in production.

While the aquaculture sector in Ireland experienced overall positive growth, it is important to note that achievements were not uniform across all segments. The shellfish sector displayed robust output volume and maintained a healthy average unit sales value. Conversely, the finfish sector faced challenges, witnessing a decline in output volume, despite a rise in average unit sales values.

The full report is available here.