Salmon leads Irish seafood revival

The value of the Irish seafood sector bounced back last year after the trials of Brexit and Covid lockdown, with farmed salmon leading the charge.

According to the latest GDP figure from the Republic’s seafood support body Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the seafood sector’s contribution totalled €1.3bn (just over £1.15 bn) in 2022.

BIM said increased consumption higher prices and the reopening of the foodservice sector were the main drivers behind the revival.

The top-selling species on the Irish market during the year were salmon at €119m (£105m) and cod at €44m (£39m).

Organic salmon, an Irish speciality, was the top species produced by the aquaculture sector – accounting for 13,500 tonnes worth €124m (£109m) while Dublin Bay prawns were the country’s most valuable species landed by the fleet, accounting for 6,200 tonnes and worth €82m (£72.5m).

The farmed shellfish sector also performed well with positive growth recorded for oysters, and rope mussels increasing significantly in value.

Food and Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue said 2022 had brought new problems arising from the Ukraine conflict and soaring energy costs.

He continued: “Following from the economic shocks in 2020 and 2021 from the global pandemic and Brexit, 2022 brought with it a new set of challenges created largely by the war in Ukraine.

“This has seen energy prices rise to unprecedented levels and created a difficult trading environment for the whole seafood sector adding to challenges brought on by Brexit.”

The Minister added: “However, the industry has once again shown its resilience to such shocks and continues to be a key socio-economic driver in coastal communities, employing more than 15,000 people.

“I recognise the pressure those working in the industry have faced in the last year, and that is why I have delivered significant funding under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve to assist the sector.”


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