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Ireland is the main producer of organic farmed salmon in the EU.
Ireland is the main producer of organic farmed salmon in the EU.

Eight aquaculture enterprises in the Republic of Ireland have today been awarded €824,000 in grants from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) Operational Programme for the seafood sector.

In total, more than €1.8 million was awarded to 19 seafood enterprises in Ireland, with the grants co-funded by the Irish Exchequer and the EMFF.

Announcing the grant, Ireland’s minister for agriculture, food and the marine, Michael Creed TD, said: “Against the Brexit backdrop and its potential implications for our food exports, I am particularly pleased to see so many seafood enterprises continuing to invest in growing their production, developing new consumer products and growing and diversifying markets, something I witnessed first-hand during my recent Trade Mission to the Gulf States.

“My department’s EMFF seafood development programme is providing a suite of three development schemes for our seafood processing sector that aim to incentivise seafood innovation and new product development, support capital investment in state-of-the-art equipment to add value to raw material and to give processors the tools to diversify and develop their export markets.

“In this first of a series of grant approvals for 2017, grant aid of almost €900,000 has been awarded to seven seafood processors supporting in excess of €3 million in value adding capital investment, while grant aid of €824,000 has been awarded to eight aquaculture enterprises supporting capital investment of €2.8 million that will directly contribute to growing output from these farms in the coming years and help achieve the ambitious sustainable growth targets we have set for our aquaculture sector.”

The beneficiaries of the grants under the Sustainable Aquaculture Scheme were Donegal-based Bell's Isle Seafoods Ltd, Comhlucht Iascaireacht Fanad Teo and Feirm Farraige Oilean Chliara Teo; Blackshell Farm Ltd and Atlantic Maritime in Mayo; Huitre Du Connemara in Louth; Michael Lydon in Galway; and Mannin Seafoods Ltd in Cork.

Creed added: “I have provided Bord Iascaigh Mhara with €26 million of EMFF funds in 2017 and I expect to announce many more awards as the year progresses.”