West Cork’s newest sea farming activity to bring export and job opportunities

Posted on: 1st December, 2014

Category: Headlines

Contributor: West Cork People

Seaweed farming offers Ireland the opportunity to become a producer of one of the EU’s fastest growing food categories that by 2020 could boost Irish seafood sales by an additional €10 million per year. This was the message at a Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM)-hosted conference titled ‘Farmed Irish Seaweed: An Ocean Wonder Food?’ as the Agency’s first report on Irish seaweed farming was unveiled.

Findings from ‘The European Market for Sea Vegetables’, a study specially commissioned by BIM for the conference, show Ireland targeting 2,000 metric tonnes (harvest weight) per year of seaweed farmed for human consumption, as it competes to develop a niche in the six billion-dollar worldwide farmed seaweed industry currently dominated by China and Japan, the global heavyweights in the eight million tonne farmed sea vegetable and 25 million tonne seaweed industry.

The demand for European farmed seaweed increasing by approximately seven to 10 per cent per annum, could lead to 100 new jobs being created on seaweed farms predominantly along Ireland’s west/south-west coastline while downstream processing of the new seaweed crops would also lead to a further 80 to 100 jobs in the region.

Commenting in advance of the report’s publication, conference keynote speaker Amarjit Sahota said: “The European market for sea vegetables estimated at about €24 million at a wholesale value is considered to have high prospects for Irish producers for two primary reasons. First, Ireland is already established as an important seaweed producer; it is therefore well equipped to raise production levels of sea vegetables. Second, the European market is suffering from undersupply with production falling short of demand. Imports comprised about 75 per cent of total sales volumes in 2013.”

Sahota urged Irish seaweed farmers targeting the European market to look at other seaweed processors as partners rather than competitors. “This is because undersupply leads major processors to import from other European countries and / or outside Europe. Many processors would welcome a new source of sea vegetables, as it would enable them to increase supply and raise sales.”

The report goes on to advise that while Ireland should continue to farm ‘the brown seaweed species (Alaria esculenta and Laminaria saccharina), of the type already being grown at sites in West Cork’s Roaring Water Bay and at Dingle Bay, it should also target higher value red seaweed, which is used as nori in sushi (Porphyra umbilicalis).

Global consumption of sea vegetables is rising as consumers become more aware of their health and nutritional benefits. Sea vegetables are an important source of protein and vitamins, specifically vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B6, and B12. Seaweeds are also known to have strong beneficial properties for gut health, are anti-carcinogenic and promote better hormone balance in women. New research indicates that seaweed may have a powerful role to play in controlling fat deposition and weight management.

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13th April, 2018  ·  

An evening on the 'Balance of Feeling Good' by Clonakilty Gaa Club Health and Wellbeing Committee followed by Guest Speaker, Cork GAA Chairperson, Tracey Kennedy.

Paddy Duggan, former Principal of Clonakilty Community College, will be MC on the night, facilitating a discussion on getting the balance of feeling good.
Contributors on the night are Colm Sheehy, Conor Murray, David Lowney, Denis Murphy, Eoghan Deasy, Sean McEvoy, Thomas Clancy and Treasa O'Brien.
Topics covered will range from awareness and responsibility to yourself and others to the benefits of exercise and nutrition.
The evening is suitable for everyone aged 16 and over from players, members of the community, parents of young and adolescent children, etc.

This is a public event, free of charge and everyone is invited and very welcome to attend.
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12th April, 2018  ·  

The Cast of Harold Pinter’s ‘No Man’s Land’ are on their way to the All-Ireland finals, having won 26 awards, including five best of Festivals, at the Amateur Drama League of Ireland annual three act festivals. The play ‘No Man’s Land, by Harold Pinter, the Nobel Prize Winning Author is directed by Jennifer Williams.

One last opportunity to view this multi award winning play at Skibbereen Town Hall, on Saturday 14th of April, before the finals.

Having met by chance in a pub, two aging writers continue a long night of drinking and reminiscing in a stately London home. As the night wears on, their conversation wanders through memories long forgotten or invented. Is their encounter real or a delusion? Are they strangers or do they share a past history? When unexpected guests intrude upon an increasingly surreal evening, the atmosphere quickly changes from friendly to threatening, and the encounter becomes a game of survival.

Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance by emailing schulldramagroup@gmail.com

For more information please contact hilary.mccarthy6@gmail.com
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