Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Questions (550, 551)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

550. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the tonnage that is exported unprocessed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32206/17]

View answer

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

551. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the tonnage that is retained and processed here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32207/17]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 550 and 551 together.

The supply of fish in Ireland is influenced by the volume of fish landed by Irish vessels into Irish ports, landings into Irish ports by foreign vessels, aquaculture production and fish imported.  In 2016, I understand that 281,000 tonnes of wild caught fish were available, while aquaculture provided 44,000 tonnes approximately and 66,000 tonnes were imported.

I understand that 272,000 tonnes approximately were processed to some degree in 2016. The degree of processing varies from basic processing such as chilling and freezing to added value processing such as filleting, cooking, marinating, smoking etc. The volume subjected to value added processing in 2016 was 111,643 tonnes.  

The volume of fish exported unprocessed in 2016 was 54,100 tonnes.  Some 158,200 tonnes were processed to some degree before being exported and of this, some 40,900 tonnes were subjected to added value processing.

Food Wise 2025 specifies an ambition to reduce the amount of fish sold in commodity form from 70% to below 50%.  My Department's €240 million European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Operational Programme is engaged in a number of initiatives to help achieve that ambition.  The Seafood Capital Investment Scheme provides grants to seafood processing enterprises to invest in added value processing equipment and premises, while the Seafood Innovation and Business Planning Scheme provides aid to processors to develop and trial added value products and conduct packaging.