Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Thursday, 5 Jun 1980

Vol. 321 No. 11

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Retail Frozen Food Outlets.


asked the Minister for Fisheries and Forestry (i) the number of Irish firms supplying Irish retail frozen food outlets with pre-packed fish products, (ii) the names of the companies involved, (iii) the total value of these products and (iv) the amount of frozen fish imported from other countries.

So far as my Department are aware there are 13 Irish firms at present engaged in the pre-packing of fish for the home retail frozen food market. It is not the practice to name the companies concerned.

Statistics of the total value of these products are not available as descriptions under which fish and fishery products are classified for the compilation of official trade statistics do not provide for this information.

The latest trade statistics available relate to the 12 month period ended 31 December 1979. Imports of frozen fish during this period amounted to 3,662 tonnes, valued at almost £6 million.

Would the Minister agree that about 95 per cent, or maybe more, of the fish that is eaten out of frozen food cabinets here is imported? Is he satisfied that BIM and the IDA are doing enough to encourage fish processors to set up plants here?

The Deputy must realise that the frozen fish referred to is usually fish fingers and these come from multinational firms which would not set up here anyhow. They are the people who, more than any others, send their imports here. I think BIM are doing quite a good job in packaging frozen food for the home market.

Is the Minister satisfied that we are dumping fish here and selling fish in the fish meal factories and, at the same time, in 1979 we imported £6 million worth of fish? There is something radically wrong. The Minister must agree with that. Is the Minister satisfied with that?

I am not satisfied with that.

Can the Minister give the House a guarantee that something will be done about it?

Deputy White has been on his feet for the last five minutes.

I am asking a very serious question here about £6 million worth of fish and fish being dumped here.

Question Time should not be conducted in this manner. The Deputy should wait until he is called by the Chair to ask a supplementary.

The Chair will not allow me to ask the question.

It is a disgraceful situation that we are importing £6 million worth of fish and at the same time dumping fish here.

Question No. 78 is for written answer.