Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Ceisteanna (125)

Danny Healy-Rae


125. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if a market will be provided for oysters (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41259/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I assume the Deputy is referring to native flat oysters for which Tralee Bay is the largest production area in Ireland. I understand from the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority that there are no certification issues relating to the native oysters from Tralee Bay which are primarily exported to EU markets. The Tralee Oyster Fisheries Society Ltd has been approved for funding under the European and Maritime Fisheries Fund by the South West Fisheries Local Action Group for over €90,000 in 2018 and over €40,000 in 2019.

My ministerial colleagues and I regularly undertake trade missions which offer a unique opportunity to promote Irish Seafood to the international markets. This year, I have led a number of trade missions which included visiting the SIAL China Food Fair in Shanghai, one of the world’s largest food trade shows. In June, I travelled to Japan and South Korea to continue to strengthen and build ties between Ireland and these two countries in relation to the agri-food sector including seafood.

Bord Bia also plays a significant part in promoting market development in the Irish seafood industry and has attended many trade shows across the EU and internationally giving a number of seafood companies the opportunity to promote their products to the wider markets. In addition to its usual funding, my Department has approved €2.2 million under the European Maritime Fisheries Fund Operational Programme to support Bord Bia’s seafood promotion strategy. This has supported Bord Bia showcasing Irish seafood at trade shows such as Biofach in Germany, the Seafood Expo in Boston, the Seafood Expo Global in Brussels, PLMA International in Amsterdam and recently at the International Seafood & Technology Expo in Tokyo. A total of 40 Irish seafood companies have attended and had the opportunity to promote their businesses.

I would encourage any seafood producers looking to optimise their market potential to contact Bord Bia to take advantage of the market promotion work that is available for Irish seafood products and to feed into the planning of future trade missions that could help to optimise placement in international export markets.