Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth, An Integrated Marine Plan for Ireland, recognises that emerging sectors such as marine biotechnology offer significant potential for sustainable economic growth. This enables more traditional sectors such as the seafood and seaweeds sector to enhance their performance.
Fish, shellfish, seaweeds and other marine species are a recognised source of functional ingredients (i.e. health-promoting additives) that offer huge potential for Ireland’s large food and ingredients companies to target the estimated €242 million global market for functional foods and ingredients.
Marine-derived drugs, enzymes and bio-materials (e.g. glues and bone replacement) are the subject of significant research and commercial interest. Irish companies target markets for animal health and horticultural products using compounds derived from native Irish seaweeds.
The Marine Institute established a Task Force to advise on the steps required to strengthen Ireland’s capability to use marine biotechnology to exploit the value of its extensive marine bioresources.
The final report of the Task Force, including its recommendations, is available to download here.