Leading Irish aquaculture figure nominated for top award – Fishupdate.com

Leading Irish aquaculture figure nominated for top award Published:  19 February, 2007

A TOP Irish aquaculture figure has been short-listed for the prestigious 2007 Aquaculture Today – Fit for the Future Awards, which will be announced in Edinburgh, in April.

Donal Maguire, Aquaculture Development Manager, for BIM (the Irish Sea Fisheries Board) has been recognised for his contribution to aquaculture.

Donal has been involved in aquaculture for more than 25 years, and throughout that time, has tried to redress the myths and legends circulated about the industry. Starting out as a salmon farmer in 1981, after leaving college, he left Ireland in 1984 to work as a fish farmer in Scotland, managing Summer Isles Salmon Ltd. From 1985 until 1997 he lived and worked on the Western Isles managing a number of salmon farming companies, including Pairc Salmon Ltd, Eilean Glas Salmon Ltd and Gaelic Seafoods Ltd. He was a founder member of the Western Isles Aquaculture Association and the Western Isles Fisheries Trust and was awarded the Charles Ross Nuffield scholarship in 1988. Donal also represented the Western Isles Salmon farmers for many years on the fish farming committee of the Scottish Farmers Association and served on many other industry bodies, following up on his interest in rural and community development.

In 1997, he returned to his home country to take up the senior management position at BIM, the government agency with responsibility for aquaculture development nationally. He is, in his own words, “a real zealot” when it comes to trying to get the truth about aquaculture out to the general public. He also has a particular interest in developing offshore aquaculture and in diversifying the number of species of fish and shellfish farmed in Ireland.

Commenting on the nomination, he said: “I am delighted to have been short listed and honoured to be in such august company as the others on the list. I look forward to hearing the announcement on the night.”

The awards cover four categories: Finfish (supported by Landcatch Natural Selection); Shellfish (supported by The Sea Fish Industry Authority); Innovation (supported by FISHupdate) and Contribution to Aquaculture (supported by Fish Farmer).

Commenting, Aquaculture Today chairman Bob Kennedy said: “The response to our awards has been tremendous and is a graphic illustration of both the diversity and increasing maturity of the aquaculture sector. The nominees are an impressive representation of an industry that is going places.”

The winners will be announced at a special gala industry awards dinner at the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa on April 18. At this special event, the Crown Estate will also announce its annual salmon fish farming awards shortlist. Aquaculture Today 2007 runs from April 17-19 and is the UK’s leading aquaculture conference.

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