asked the Minister for Fisheries and Forestry the role played by the board of Board Iascaigh Mhara in the fishing industry; and the number of persons employed in that respect.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - BIM Role.
An Bord Iascaigh Mhara are a development body for the seafishing industry. Their role is to promote the expansion of all sectors of the industry in accordance with Government policy. The total number of persons employed by the board is 151.
Is the Minister satisfied with the role being played by An Bord Iascaigh Mhara so far as the fishing industry is concerned? I appreciate that the board look after such matters as hire purchase and development but I am not satisfied that their marketing role is what it should be in 1980. Is the Minister satisfied that BIM are doing enough in regard to promoting our fish abroad? Should there not be more personnel in the board devoted to the marketing of Irish fish?
I am happy to say that BIM are one of the semi-State bodies who keep abreast of the times. I am happy, too, that they are devoting their considerable expertise to the gaining of markets abroad for our fish. Many of the industrialists to whom I have spoken have expressed their appreciation of the activities of the board in that respect.
Can the Minister give any indication of the value of the fish that is exported through the board?
That is a separate matter but if the Deputy wishes to write to me about it, I shall let him have the information.