13.3 million funding for Irish aquaculture industry25 July, 2006 – JOHN Browne T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources has announced grant aid totalling 13.3m for aquaculture projects under the Aquaculture Development Measure of the National Development Plan (NDP) 2000-2006. The 13.3 million grant aid will support a total investment of approximately 29 million.A total of 41 private projects (28 shellfish and 13 finfish) and three public projects will benefit from this grant aid. These projects cover a wide range of activities such as development of new species, expansion and modernisation of salmon and trout farms, together with expansion of shellfish farm facilities.Minister Browne stressed the importance of diversifying into new species and investing in new technologies, which he said will underpin future growth in Irish aquaculture and ensure it remains an important source of employment opportunities in our peripheral coastal communities.Included in the announcement is 2 million which has been allocated to 7 specific projects under the Technical Environment Support Programme (TESP). These projects are all aimed at achieving significant improvements in the environmental impact of the marine based salmonid sector, through improved levels of production efficiency.Minister Browne continued: Those involved in the aquaculture industry can work and plan with confidence for the future. The aid available under the National Development Plan provides vital support for the continued development of the sector as is being demonstrated by the level of assistance given to promote modernisation and expansion. The investment is aimed at improving efficiencies in bringing product to the market. This coupled with the support for the acquisition of key capital equipment should leave the sector in no doubt about this Governments commitment to the Industry.www.fishfarmer-magazine.com is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publishes FISHupdate.com, FISHupdate magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.