Irish Expertise

Ireland has a real expertise when it comes to exports, this small nation of 4.5 Million exports € 9 billion of its food.  Agri-food exports have a 10% share of total exports.

The Irish Seafood Industry

As an Island nation surrounded by the richest waters in Europe Ireland has a long tradition of seafood. Ireland is recognized as a key European exporter of a large range of high quality seafood. The clean, unpolluted waters around Ireland’s coastline are rich in aquatic life and form an exceptional environment for aquaculture and fishing. The rough Atlantic waters which shape the Irish coastline are confronted with the warm waters of the Gulf Stream and the cold fresh waters which flow off the Irish bog lands. Over 12,000km² of turf bog is present in Ireland which makes it one of the last remaining ecosystems of this type in Europe. Ireland exports 300€ million of seafood throughout the world.

Irish Mussel Farming

Apart from one of the most renowned traditional Irish ballads, the Molly Malone song “cocklesandmussels” Ireland is is also probably at the origin of the first mussel farming technique.

According to legend, in 1235, Patrick Waltonun, an Irish sailor that survived from the wreckage of his ship in the French Atlantic coast attempted to survive by capturing birds using nets held by poles on the strand. He rapidly noticed the he was capturing more mussels growing on his pools than birds caught in his nets. He therefore decided to improve the mussel cultivation by multiplying the pools and joining them together with horizontal sticks. Mussel farming was born !!  The bouchot mussel farming technique (link to bouchot farming technique) is derived from this invention

The Irish mussel industry started in the early 1970’s with an initial production mainly intended for mussel meat processing and exported to the European continent. In the 1980’s, due to market changes, the production of Irish mussel meats declined and Irish processors developed and patented the processing technique of frozen cooked whole mussels. The technique was unique in keeping mussels shell closed during the cooking phase, thereby preserving juices and flavor. This new processing industry coincided with the development of the Irish rope mussel sector. In the late 1990’s new production grounds were allocated and heavy investment lead to the arrival of the dynamic bottom mussel culture industry.

Ireland was the first nation in the EU to implement a combined mouse bioassay and chemical testing protocol  to insure efficient and safe monitoring systems. Find out more.

Irish rope mussel farms are mainly found across the west and north coast which offer good shelter for the long lines. location map link

 

Irish bottom mussel farms are predominately found in the large bays such as Wexford, Cromane and Lough Foyle that offer the space and the prefect environment for the ongrowing of the seed in sheltered areas. location map link

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