Foras na Mara

Stakeholder Views Sought at Major Offshore Aquaculture Workshop

A major international workshop and foresight exercise – “Offshore Aquaculture in Europe - ‘Next Steps’”  will take place in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dublin on 24th September this year, to coincide with the World Seafood Congress 07.  

The Workshop, which is being funded under the EU 6th Framework Programme, will provide anyone with an interest in Offshore Aquaculture the opportunity to submit their thoughts on the next steps for future development. This information will be included in a comprehensive report outlining the way forward for the European aquaculture industry and submitted to the European Commission in February 2008.

The objective of the EU project funding the Workshop is to investigate the opportunity and usefulness for the aquaculture industry of promoting offshore aquaculture through a “technological platform” – a consortium of international experts and stakeholders.  

Achieving this objective requires the collection, validation and collation of data from a diverse range of sources on the opportunities and requirements of European offshore aquaculture and it’s evaluation to assess the appropriateness of a technological platform as a suitable promotional vehicle.  

The “Offshore Aquaculture Technology Platform” (OATP) project includes sixteen partners from seven countries: Ireland, Norway, Spain, Italy, Malta, Belgium and the UK. The consortium includes service providers, manufacturers, aquaculture practitioners with offshore experience, research and development organisations and agencies from across the sector. These partners operate in both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean and in many cases have operations or interests in the aquaculture sector outside of Europe.

All participants will be involved in the main activities of this 14 month project: collecting and collating information by way of survey and questionnaire, participating in the main workshop and contributing to the final report, to be submitted to the EU Commission in February 2008.  

ENDS

Registration to attend the Workshop is available on the events section of the Marine Institute website. 

Full details of the World Seafood Congress, hosted by BIM, is available on www.worldseafoodcongress07.com

Media enquiries to:  Dr. John Joyce – Marine Institute Ph: +353 87 2250871  

Notes to Editor  

The European Aquaculture Technology Platform (EATP)

The European Aquaculture Technology Platform had its inaugural meeting on March of this year in Brussels. Its aim is to influence the EC research agenda in order to transform European fish farming into a knowledge-intensive industry in order to improve its competitiveness and economic contribution to society.

Full details are available on www.EATPnet.eu

Offshore Aquaculture in Ireland

Ireland has pioneered the development of offshore aquaculture since the mid 1980’s and the introduction of the “Bridgestone” rubber-collar fish cages off the west coast.

Since then, a number of designs capable of withstanding severe wind and wave conditions, including flexible rubber collars, jointed steel collars and even semi-submersible case units have been tested commercially.  

The 2004 conference “Farming the Deep Blue” organised by An Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) suggested that Ireland’s aquaculture industry could increase its current output of farmed fish by 150,000 tonnes (with a first sale value) of some €500 million per annum, if it could only perfect the technology to commercial farm its offshore “Class 3” sites.The joint BIM/Marine Institute/International Council for Offshore Aquaculture Development report "Offshore Aquaculture Development in Ireland - 'Next Steps'" gives an in-depth report on the full potential of offshore aquaculture in Ireland.