Killybegs port achieved the highest value of fish landings through growth of €37 million on 2016.
Killybegs was Ireland’s biggest fishing port in 2017, according the annual Business of Seafood report, published by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM). The port achieved the highest value of fish landings through growth of €37 million on 2016. Unlike many other key landing harbours in Ireland, the vast majority (84%) of the value of landings at Killybegs were attributed to Irish fleets. The total value of landings in Killybegs in 2017 was €125 million, with a total landing volume of 192,000 tonnes.
The report highlighted strong employment growth in the Donegal’s seafood industry. 3,318 individuals, or 12% of the coastal population in Donegal, are employed, either directly or indirectly, in the seafood sector. Furthermore, 26 of Ireland’s 163 seafood processing companies are located in Donegal.
Meanwhile, the aquaculture sector, which comprises chiefly of salmon and oyster farming in the county, was worth a total of €68 million in Donegal last year and enjoyed 24% growth nationally.
Donegal leading the trend as Seafood Industry thrives
Jim O’Toole, CEO of BIM commented: "Ireland’s Seafood Industry is thriving with Donegal leading this trend. Killybegs and Greencastle claim almost 35% of the total value of landings made in Ireland and the seafood industry employs more people in Donegal than in any other county.
"Over the last two years, the contribution of the sector to Ireland’s GDP has grown by over 14%. The fact trade sales have exceeded €1 billion for the first time demonstrates the clear demand for Irish seafood and it is important we build on this impressive performance as we collectively work to achieve the targets for seafood in the Government’s Food Wise 2025 report."
Ireland’s Seafood Sector recorded its third consecutive year of growth in 2017, with its value up 6.4% on the previous year, to contribute €1.15 billion to Ireland’s GDP. This strong growth was driven by a 12% increase in net exports (€331m), a 4% increase in domestic consumption (€429m) and significant ongoing investment both private and public (€386m).
The Business of Seafood 2017 was published by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland’s Seafood Development Agency, and launched this week by Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D.
In terms of trade, the EU remains Ireland’s main export market valued at €392 million (up 9%). The report also demonstrates that Irish seafood is building significant growth markets across Africa, Asia and the Middle East all demonstrating double-digit growth.
14,000 employed around the coast
Around the coast, over 14,000 people are employed, directly and indirectly, in the seafood sector and this value should not be underestimated as Mr. O’Toole added: ‘As well as employment, seafood is a key driver in economic activity and in many cases is at the heart of the community.
In Donegal, the sector accounts for 12% of total coastal employment. Seafood processing companies are growing in number and now account for 43% of the total employment in the Irish seafood sector. The revenue and employment seafood delivers to our overall economy and directly to our peripheral coastal communities is invaluable’.
BIM’s ‘The Business of Seafood’ report – a snapshot of Ireland’s Seafood Sector’ is available on www.bim.ie