The future of fishing

 

Sir, – Alison Healy’s excellent article on the state of the Irish seafood Industry (Home News, August 29th) was timely and well researched.

Both the aquaculture sector and the Government agree that developing our farmed shellfish and fish industry can double the amount of exports and significantly increase jobs around the coast.

Ireland, with the best waters in the world, has huge potential to increase its seafood production to provide managed, sustainable and organic farmed produce.

However, an inexplicable delay in assisting producers to reach their potential by way of the State processing licences to farm in inshore and offshore areas continues to hamper development and delay investment in the hundreds of companies involved in farming salmon, oysters, mussels, trout and other species.

Failure to deal with this situation has dragged on for over five years and coastal communities are suffering as a result, with frustration reaching boiling point. Irish companies cannot meet customer demand in important export markets.

The Government and the many agencies that regulate and monitor the sector must urgently agree a strategy to remove this bottleneck and release the true potential of our aquaculture sector. – Yours, etc,

RICHIE FLYNN,

IFA Aquaculture,

Irish Farm Centre,

Bluebell, Dublin 12.