Challenges facing Aquaculture to be debated at Dublin Castle

The challenges facing the Irish aquaculture industry will be explored at the Marine Institute 10th Anniversary Conference – Taking Marine Research Further – in Dublin Castle between 5th and 7th November.

The Irish aquaculture industry was worth over €107 million in 2001 and employs 3,500 people. Ireland's bays and inshore waters are a vital natural resource for fish farmers and other industries such as fisheries and tourism & leisure. The aquaculture industry therefore has an important relationship with these industries and local communities. The integration of fish farming into the coastal environment will be a key topic for discussion at Dublin Castle next week.

The Marine Institute (MI) has supported the development of integrated and sustainable management of fish farming since its establishment in 1991 under the Marine Institute Act. The implementation of the single Bay Management System in 1993 and the Co-ordinated Local Aquaculture Management System (C.L.A.M.S.) in 1998 aim to ensure a holistic approach is adopted, with fish-farmers working together at a local level to enhance the benefits to the bay as a whole. The Institute provides a range of fish health monitoring and technical support to the industry.

The sustainable aquaculture session, which will be held on Thursday 7th November, will review current practices and future trends. The key objective of the session will be to identify how Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) and MI can assist and facilitate the future development of sustainable aquaculture industry in Ireland.

Speakers at the event will include Donal Maguire, BIM and Dr. Dave Jackson, MI along with industry and research representatives such as Mary Ferns, Chairperson, Irish Shellfish Association, and Dr. John Slater, Letterkenny Institute of Technology.

As well as the topical issue of sustainable aquaculture, the Marine Institute conference will address a wide range of marine issues including renewable energy, sustainable fisheries and resource management, the impacts of global climate change, salmon management, marine leisure, marine environment and biodiversity, and marine biotechnology. 

The Conference marks the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the Marine Institute under the 1991 Marine Institute Act. Its aim is to review marine research & development over the last 10 years and identify challenges and priorities for the future to ensure the sustainable development of Ireland's marine resource.