Ireland unveils new seafood strategy


IRELAND has launched a bold new strategy designed to drive up its fishing and aquaculture industries.
Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the agency responsible for leading the development of the Irish seafood sector, has outlined its plans in a statement titled ‘Enabling Sustainable Growth’ to deliver growth between now and 2025.
The new strategy is aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of the Irish seafood sector to capitalise on the growing demand for seafood, both domestically and internationally
BIM said its approach reflects the challenge of growing market uncertainty and places greater emphasis on product differentiation, value creation and profitability.
Launching the strategy, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine, Michael Creed, said: ‘I welcome the publication of this strategy document and its focus on delivering growth in Ireland’s seafood sector, which currently contributes €1.15 billion to Ireland’s GDP and supports more than 14,000 jobs, mainly across Ireland’s coastal communities.
‘I am pleased to say the seafood sector is strongly supported by my department and the European Union with a funding programme of €240 million from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.
‘Food Wise 2025, the government’s ten-year strategy for the Irish food sector, outlines ambitious growth targets for Irish seafood.
‘The Food Wise development strategy and the sustainability initiatives embedded in the reformed Common Fisheries Policy provide the framework within which our seafood industry can look forward to a more prosperous and stable future.’
He added: ‘BIM has been well resourced to assist the implementation of the new Common Fisheries Policy and to achieve the objectives of Food Wise for the seafood industry.  I am confident BIM’s new strategy contains the right actions to deliver on this important agenda.’
Outlining the focus of the strategy, BIM CEO Jim O’Toole said: ‘It is both an exciting and uncertain time for the Irish seafood industry. As the sector continues to face significant challenges, BIM’s strategy is designed to focus on enabling Ireland’s seafood industry to benefit from services in key strategic areas that will drive future growth.’
BIM’s new strategy identifies five key strategic priorities that will underpin the delivery of BIM services: sustainability, skills, innovation, competitiveness and leadership.
They will all operate within the framework objective of the Common Fisheries Policy and Food Wise 2025.
The strategy also aims to enhance the attractiveness and viability of careers in the sector.
Picture: Ireland\’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine, Michael Creed


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