Interest in organic Irish salmon farm heightens

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Friday, December 07, 2012

Twenty-one financiers, spanning three continents have now registered firm interest in the €60 mill. investment for the proposed deep sea organic salmon farm in Galway Bay. Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Irish seafood development agency, has applied for a licence for the development, which could create 500 jobs in the local area and generate a wage flow of €14.5 million per annum.

The licence application is to farm up to 15,000 t of organic salmon, a product for which Ireland is renowned and currently unable to satisfy demand.

Speaking about the proposed development, Jason Whooley, BIM’s CEO highlighted the impressive market growth figures for farmed salmon around the globe, stressing that the figures had shown a steady upward curve since 1997 and according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN, this growth curve is likely to stay as world population increases. The latest figures (2011) showed that the market growth for farmed salmon in the EU grew by 120,000 t, an increase of 15%, the US market grew by 62,000 t and the Russian market alone demanded an additional 36,000 t of farmed salmon.

The intention is to undergo a public tender process for the operation of the farm, leaving the licence itself in the hands of the State, ensuring it remains a valuable State-asset. The experience which can be drawn from the private sector allied to BIM’s expertise in the sector gives rise to confidence that the Galway Bay project has the potential to be one of the most exciting developments in the sector for many years.

Based on existing job creation in the salmon farming industry and specifically modelling from job creation in Ireland, the proposed development, when running at full capacity (most likely by year four) will create 350 jobs directly, rearing the juvenile fish, working on the farm at sea and the packing and processing of the salmon as they come ashore and are transported to market. A further 150 jobs would be created indirectly in the service sector – including the supply of fish feed, netting, transportation and a range of other services to the proposed unit.
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