The seathe most natural of resourcesKnown all over the world as the “Green Isle”, the island ofIreland is surrounded by one of its greatest natural resources- the sea.Off the west coast, the rough waves of the Atlantic Ocean mergewith warm Gulf Stream flows, and then combine with the coldfresh waters that run to the seas from the Irish bog lands.These clean, unpolluted waters are rich in aquatic life and form an exceptionalenvironment for the production of seafoodThe unique conditions in Europe’s western waters have created an environment thatsupports a thriving seafood industry, and employs an estimated 11,600 people.It is the life-blood of some of the oldest rural and coastal communities in the country.Like all island nations, Ireland has always looked to trade with its neighbors, and theseafood industry is no different.An estimated 45% of the output is exported on an annual basis at a value of around€370 million, and the largest markets for Irish seafood are currently France, Spain, theUK, Germany and Italy.Irish Fishingsustainable and responsibleThe Irish fishing industry produces around 140,000 tonnes of pelagic fish and 25,000tonnes of whitefish every year, with mackerel, herring, whiting, haddock, megrims andmonkfish among the most commonly produced species. The UK and Spain are currently the biggest export markets for whitefish from Ireland, with Russia, Germany, Nigeria & Egypt buying the majority of the exported pelagic catch. Ireland’s close proximity to the richest of the Atlantic fishing grounds means that the fish can be landed shortly after catch, ensuring unrivalled freshness. A modern and well-maintained Irish fishing fleet ensures optimum handling and hygiene conditions onboard for the catch.
Irish Aquacultureeco-friendly sea farming Aquaculture in Ireland has grown rapidly since its humble beginnings in the 1970’s, and it is now an important part of the economic and social fabric of the country. Three main species are farmed - salmon, mussel’s and oysters – and thanks to the farmers’ focus on quality and the wild natural environment that allows low production densities, these products are now served on the finest tables across Europe. Irish salmon is farmed and certified under quality schemes, which are audited to EU 45011 standard to ensure the highest standards of environmental management and animal wellbeing.Irish farmed salmon is also accredited by some of the most renowned quality labels inthe business. Ireland is renowned as a pioneer in organic seafood certification, and isrecognized as a leader throughout Europe. Irish salmon is certified by such schemes asAB Bio, Naturland, and the European organic label.With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that Ireland is the leading producer oforganic salmon in Europe, and organic salmon accounts for around 80% of the country’stotal salmon production.The low environmental impact of mussel and oyster farming makes it one of the mostenvironmentally friendly forms of aquaculture, with Irish farmed mussels and oystersfeeding naturally on wild phytoplankton in the sea.Many Irish mussel farmers are certified byBord Iascaigh Mara (Irish Sea FisheriesBoard) under their Quality SeafoodProgram, which controls environmentalmanagement practice, food safety andproduct quality.Irish mussel farmers have also achievedEuropean organic certification for theireco-friendly practices. More informationon the farming and certification of Irishmussels can be found on the dedicatedsite: www.irish-mussels.comIrish oyster farmers are certified under theIrish Quality Oyster Program, which controls criteriasuch as shell shape, meat content, farming andenvironmental management practice. For acomprehensive guide to the scheme, please visitthe IQO website at: www.iqo.ie
Sustainable fisheries and aquaculture Irish wild fisheries are controlled by the European TAC and quota management system and the Irish seafood industry is dedicated to sustainable, responsible aquaculture. Many species fished in Irish waters come under particular environmental quality schemes, such as the BIM (Irish Sea Fisheries Board) Seafood Stewardship Standard. This exacting standard is accredited to EN45011/ISO 65 by the Irish National Accreditation Board. It provides comprehensive assurance that everything from care of catch, traceability and provenance and environmental management to education and awareness of Irish seafood are executed to the highest international standards. Additional internationally recognised schemes cover Irish mackerel and Irish Albacore tuna, which have been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Friends of the Sea respectively. These schemes certify that the produce comes from well-managed and healthy fisheries that are biologically sustainable. Statistics For the latest statistics from Ireland’s fishing industry, please visit www.statcentral.ie Links Bord Bia- Irish Food Board........................................................ www.bordbia.ie Bord Iascaigh Mhara- the Irish Sea Fisheries Board ................ www.bim.ie Marine Institute......................................................................... www.marine.ie Bord Bia Bord Bia – The Irish Food Board - is the state agency responsible for the market development and promotion of Irish food, drink & horticulture. Bord Bia acts as a link between Irish suppliers and existing and potential customers throughout the world. Our objective is to develop markets for Irish suppliers and to bring the great taste of Irish food to more tables world-wide.BORD BIA Contact:Embassy of Ireland - Hovslagargatan 5 - 11148 Stockholm - Sweden Nicolas RanningerTel: +46 8 54 50 40 58 Nordic Market Managerwww.twitter.com/bordbia firstname.lastname@example.org/bordbiawww.bordbia.ie