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Grants worth almost €1.5m go to Irish salmon industry

Ireland's agriculture and marine minister Michael Creed, left, with managing director John Nolan on a visit to the Castletownbere Fishermen's Co-Operative Society Ltd. The co-operative received €70,835 towards the €236,118 cost f developing an oven-ready megrim product for the Spanish market. Photo: Maxells.
Ireland's agriculture and marine minister Michael Creed, left, with managing director John Nolan on a visit to the Castletownbere Fishermen's Co-Operative Society Ltd. The co-operative received €70,835 towards the €236,118 cost f developing an oven-ready megrim product for the Spanish market. Photo: Maxells.

Three Irish salmon industry companies have received a total of €1,465,004 from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) Operational Programme to help fund expansion or improvements.

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The grants were among 17 worth €2,369,801 overall and announced by Ireland’s agriculture and marine minister, Michael Creed.

Keohane Seafoods, from Cork, was the big winner, getting €900,000 towards the €3 million cost of doubling its salmon production capacity at its plant in Bantry, south-west Ireland. It was granted a further €19,800 towards the €39,600 of advisory services to enhance management systems.

 

Farm technology

Ocean Farm Limited, of Killybegs, Donegal, received €470,081 towards the €1,175,202 cost of upgrading salmon farm technology.

The company, which farms organic salmon at two sites in McSwyne’s Bay and Inver Bay, is owned by Gallagher Brothers Fish Merchants, which has a packing station close by at the harbour at Killybegs.

Curraun Fisheries Limited, of Mulranny, County Mayo, was granted €75,123 towards the €187,808 cost of modernising its salmon farm management systems.

The majority of other grants went to oyster and mussel farmers.

‘Strong confidence in growth’

The 17 grants will support total investment of €6,472,909 in the aquaculture and seafood processing sectors. 

Creed said: “I am delighted to say that, despite uncertainties created by Brexit over the past two years, there is still strong confidence in our seafood sector about its future growth prospects.”

He added: “These companies are seizing the market opportunities that are there in abundance for quality Irish seafood products. This is particularly true for companies like Keohane Seafoods from Cork, which is undertaking a major €3 million investment to double its salmon production capacity at its plant in Bantry.” 

The grants are co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union.

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