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From left: Vera Flynn of BIM Finfish Certification, Damien O’Keefe from the Irish Salmon Growers' Association and aquatic veterinary Susie Mitchell are among those at the conference in Galway. Photo: Andrew Downes Photography / BIM
From left: Vera Flynn of BIM Finfish Certification, Damien O’Keefe from the Irish Salmon Growers' Association and aquatic veterinary Susie Mitchell are among those at the conference in Galway. Photo: Andrew Downes Photography / BIM

Ireland’s seafood development agency, Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), is this week hosting a two-day conference on the scientific developments within the salmon farming industry.

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The Bradan Salmon Growing Conference, which began today, features 25 separate presentations from national and international experts who will cover the latest research and technological developments within the sector, speaking on issues such as fish health and welfare and structural and service equipment, as well as organic certification.

Rapidly evolving

BIM’s Geoffrey Robinson said: “With increasing global demand for fish, aquaculture is now the fastest-growing animal food production sector in the world. Consequently, fish farming operations are rapidly evolving with new technologies and equipment constantly being developed.

“Part of BIM’s work is to help fish farmers to keep their operations at the cutting edge of technology and an event like this allows us to showcase the latest innovations to Irish operators. There will be a number of interesting developments discussed, not least the growing use of cleaner fish and desalination systems.”

Reputation for excellence

Robinson added: “While production volumes in Ireland are small by international standards, we have a reputation for excellence in organic salmon production and it is important that our operations maintain this high standard. Incorporating leading edge technologies can improve our production efficiencies and strengthen our sustainable practices.” 

In 2017 Irish salmon production increased 15.6% to 19,305 tonnes, with a value of €141.2 million. The industry employs 210 people, primarily in production sites along the west coast of Ireland. 

This week’s conference is taking place at the Maldron Hotel, Galway.

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