Written Answers. - Fish Consumption Statistics.

Jim O'Keeffe

Question:

43 Mr. J. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for the Marine the amount of fish consumed annually in Ireland; if he will give comparative figures for Spain and the EC average; the policy he has to increase fish consumption; and the measures, if any, taken to implement that policy.

For 1991, average fish consumption in Ireland was approximately 8 kg per person. For the same period consumption in Spain was 39 kg per person. Although no average figure is available for the EC, consumption is estimated to be of the order of 15-20 kg per person.

Programmes to increase fish consumption are implemented by Bord Iascaigh Mhara. The aim of policy is to promote the demand for quality seafood, through improving quality, standards, presentation and product range, and thereby to increase per capita fish consumption by about 0.2 kg per annum.

BIM's Home Market Development programme consists of a number of measures, including: a programme of seminars and information briefings with the catering and retail sector, a general programme of advertising, including a weekly radio slot, and specific seasonal programmes, including participation in special events such as Healthy Eating Week, a promotions programme which increases consumer awareness of fish and includes cookery competitions, inshore promotions, testings, etc. and a public relations programme which promotes the use of fish in the home through the use of recipe and promotional material including an annual fish cookery calendar.

The promotion of fish on the home market is, of course, increasingly market driven. In this regard I am glad to note the increased promotion of fish in many outlets and the advent of major private national advertising campaigns, all of which are increasing the consumers awareness of the attractiveness of fish and fish products.