Written answers

Thursday, 9 March 2023

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Aquaculture Industry

Photo of Willie O'DeaWillie O'Dea (Limerick City, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context

80. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will provide an update on the National Strategic Plan for Sustainable Aquaculture Development 2030. [11725/23]

Photo of Charlie McConalogueCharlie McConalogue (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context

The Common Fisheries Policy, Article 34, requires member states to prepare multi-annual national strategic plans for aquaculture (NSPAs). My Department's first National Strategic Plan for Sustainable Aquaculture Development was published in 2015 and was primarily based on the Commission’s 2013 non-binding Strategic Guidelines for the Sustainable Development of EU Aquaculture which covered the period up to 2020.

The new National Strategic Plan for Sustainable Aquaculture Development (2021 – 2030) is the second iteration of the Plan and covers the period 2021-30. The Plan has been developed over the course of 2021/22 in consultation with the main statutory bodies covering all aspects of Irish aquaculture and its supply, the aquaculture industry via the Irish Farmers Association and the Environment Pillar. The European Commission has also been consulted. The purpose of the new Plan is similar to its predecessor and is as follows:

- To align and mainstream the recently updated but again non-binding Commission Strategic Guidelines for a more Sustainable and Competitive EU Aquaculture (2021 – 2030) with national aquaculture sector planning.

- To help inform the investment priorities for aquaculture in Ireland’s new Seafood Development Programme 2021-27 (European Maritime Fisheries & Aquaculture Fund).

- To provide a framework so that strategic planning for the aquaculture sector in Ireland responds to the latest thinking in terms of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for Irish aquaculture in order to promote the development of a sustainable and forward-looking sector.

The Plan sets out a vision for Irish aquaculture in 2030 reflecting the common direction set out in the EU’s strategic guidelines I've mentioned previously. It visualises a sustainable, profitable, competitive, and market-focused aquaculture industry making the maximum long-term economic and social contribution to coastal communities and Ireland as a whole, while optimising environmental performance and supporting the natural capital upon which it depends. The sector maintains a competitive edge through low-impact production whilst building commercial resilience through technical innovation and diversification. This in turn supports a more diverse consumer and market base aligned to increased recognition of Irish aquaculture’s growing status as a key provider of sustainable, low carbon and healthy food. I have approved the National Strategic Plan for Sustainable Aquaculture and the relevant NIS (Natura Impact Statement) and am awaiting its final preparations for publication.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.