Landings to Irish Ports Valued at 434m (+15%) in 2019
Landings of high value species including hake, monkfish and megrim resulted in an increase (+15%) in the overall value of landings to Irish ports in 2019 according to the latest BIM Business of Seafood report. Strong demand for Irish mackerel at the beginning of 2019 following a quota decrease also contributed to this increase.
Exports of farmed Irish organic salmon also experienced significant increases (+26%) last year and were valued at 104 million.
Overall, Irelands seafood economy experienced a slight drop (-2%) in 2019 compared to 2018, giving it a total value of 1.22 billion. This was largely driven by a 4% reduction (-10 million) in private investment and a 2% decline (-11 million) in exports as global market confidence weakened due to Brexit, trade disputes and the impacts of climate change.
The fundamentals of the sector remained strong in 2019, however, with a 4% increase in government support (177 million) and a 2% rise in domestic consumption to 496 million. This largely offset the slight fall in private investment to 258 million (-4%) and a decline in our seafood balance of trade (exports imports) which fell by 31 million (-10%) to 285 million. Overall investment in the sector was 435 million, equivalent to 36% of seafood GDP, nearly the same as in 2018, showing confidence in the sector remains stable.
So Where does Irish seafood come from?
While the volume of landings decreased by 13%, the overall value of seafood landed in Irish ports grew by 15% in 2019 to 424 million. This growth was value driven from increased landings of higher value species by Irish and non-Irish vessels (8% and 33% respectively). The value of landings in Castletownbere grew by 40% to a total of 130 million, placing it ahead of Killybegs at 122 million. Foreign landings into Castletownbere increased by 36 million (+48%) compared to 2018. The value of Irish landings was boosted by increased volumes and prices of key species. High value landings during the year included haddock (+ 31%), hake (+26%), monkfish (+16%) and megrim (+ 11%).
Aquaculture production increased by 2% in volume terms to 38,000 tonnes although the overall value fell by 3% to 172 million. This was largely driven by reductions in the volume and value of farmed salmon, which dominates aquaculture production. The volume and value of farmed shellfish grew in 2019, by 7%, overcoming a number of challenges within the year.
BIMs 2019 Business of Seafood report is available for download here.