Seafood sector records growth of over 7% last year

The best-selling species in Ireland in 2016 was salmon with sales rising 11.5 % to €94.5m

Mackerel was the most valuable fish species exported last year, followed by salmon, Dublin Bay prawns, crabs and oysters.

Mackerel was the most valuable fish species exported last year, followed by salmon, Dublin Bay prawns, crabs and oysters.

 

Ireland’s seafood sector grew by 7.4 per cent last year with domestic sales increasing from €350 million to €380 million, a new report from Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) shows.

The study estimates the seafood sector contributes €1.1 billion in GDP to the Irish economy with 9,200 people working in the fishing, aquaculture and processing industries.

Overall, there are 156 seafood processors in Ireland with 2,039 registered fishing vessels.

The value of fish landed and farmed before any value is added was estimated at €543 million, with 281,000 tonnes of wild caught seafood worth €376 million and 281,000 tonnes of farmed fish and shellfish caught which was valued at €167 million.

A breakdown of domestic sales shows €239 million in revenues last year derived from retail with a further €141 million from food service.

The best selling species in Ireland in 2016 was salmon with sales rising 11.5 per cent to €94.5 million.

Ireland exports 70 per cent of it seafood as a bulk commodity. Overall, seafood exports declined 1 per cent last year from €564 million to €559 million with the main markets being the EU, Asia and Nigeria/North Africa.

Mackerel was the most valuable fish species exported last year, followed by salmon, Dublin Bay prawns, crabs and oysters.

Salmon exports were valued at €71 million, down 5 per cent versus last year. However the unit price of fresh whole salmon remained stable.

Pelagic exports from Ireland were estimated to be worth €150 million, a 27 per cent decrease from the €205 million recorded a year earlier due to reduced quotas.

Ireland imported €276 million worth of seafood, the bulk of which came from the UK.