IFA president Joe Healy this week met with a number of aquaculture producers (fish and shellfish farmers ) in Mayo. Aquaculture is a substantial industry in Mayo primarily located in Clew Bay and Achill. The latest figures from BIM, the Seafood Development Agency, show that 143 people are employed in the fish and shellfish farming industry in Mayo, and the local fish farming industry is worth in excess of €19 million. The county produces around 4,660 tonnes of high quality organic salmon, organic mussels, Pacific and native oysters.
Healy met with the new chairman of the Irish Shellfish Association, Michael Mulloy of Blackshell Farms Ltd, and was joined by the local IFA Connacht vice president, Padraig Joyce, as they undertook an informative tour of a local mussel farm (Blackshell Ltd ), a shellfish processing plant (Connemara Seafoods ), finishing up at a the Marine Harvest Ireland salmon farm at Clare Island.
The Clew Bay CLAMS (Coordinated Local Aquaculture Management System ) Group is one of the most pro-active CLAMS groups in Ireland. Since the group was formed in 2001, it has been involved in shore and pier clean-ups, oyster trestle recycling, the production of a code of practice, dealing with water quality issues, and more recently in the production of an aquaculture and inshore fisheries information poster, as shown below.
Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM ), the Seafood Development Agency has worked with communities around the coast to assist in the development of CLAMS groups, an environmental initiative that assists aquaculture businesses to work in harmony with their environment and local community.