May 21st, 2014
Fatalities in the fishing sector is far too high and it is vital to reduce the number of fatalities significantly.
That’s according to the Chief Executive Officer of the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation Sean O’Donoghue after the Health and Safety Authority highlighted that Irish fishermen are 40 times more likely to be killed doing their job than the average worker.
Mr. O’Donoghue says one of the key things the KFO do be advocating strongly is the mandatory wearing of the life jackets.
He also says the message had to get out there that if you are going out on a vessel that you must wear a suitable life jacket.
The head of the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation says the industry needs to speak with a united voice on the issue of conservation and quotas determination.
New protocols are in place under which scientific evidence put forward by the fisheries organisations is given more consideration by the EU commission, but Sean O’Donaghue says that will only work if there is unity of purpose across the whole sector.
He says that was highlighted last week when the Council of Ministers held its annual December meeting to discuss quotas, and some organisations were more prepared than others……………..
The official launch has taken place today of the new biomarine plant in Killybegs which, when completed will create in excess of 50 jobs for the area.
Flagged earlier this year, this morning Bio-marine Ingredients Ireland held an Information Meeting this morning to give more details of the €35 million state-of-the-art plant.
It will generate up to 50 jobs during the construction phase and create 70 direct and indirect jobs provided it gets planning permission and state aid approval.
The facility will be used to extract proteins, oils and calcium from fish for use as food ingredients and has the potential to produce supplements for athletes:
11 Irish fishermen, the bulk of them based in Donegal and members of the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation, have won a second case against an EU commission decision not to grant them extra tonnage on the basis of money they spent on safety measures in 2001.
KFO Chief Executive Sean O’Donaghue says the work was done in the expectation of extra safety tonnage being granted, and when that was refused, the fishermen had to buy the tonnage at a significant cost.
They won an initial case in 2006, and now, their case has concluded, with the European Court ruling that the rejection of their tonnage applications was wrong.
Mr O’Donaghue says they will now sit down with the EU commission to discuss how the vessel owners are to be compensated…………..
A site in Killybegs has been identified but the plant still has to go through the planning process and will be dependent on state aid to get established. Discussions on funding are ongoing. Mr Coveney said the facility could become a "game-changer in the seafood sector".
"It will position Killybegs and Ireland as a global leader in supply and research around new products and benefits."
It was made possible by Ireland getting a 70pc share of new EU quotas for boarfish, which would amount to 88,000 tonnes in 2014, he said.
KFO chief executive Sean O'Donoghue said Ireland could become a global leader in supply and research of new marine products and bring badly-needed jobs.
"With increasing food ingredient prices and a shortage of quality protein in the market, there is a significant opening in the market for the output which this new venture can deliver," he said.
The Norwegian company has a lot of experience in the marine biotech area and the technical expertise to extract valuable ingredients from marine species including clean fish oil.
Boarfish contains some Omega 3 fish oils, the consumption of which is believed to be beneficial to heart and brain health.
The new facility would also be able to extract ingred- ients from other species, such as blue whiting.
a Major boost
A €35m investment has been announced for Killybegs, with plans to build the world’s largest bio-marine ingredients plant in the harbour town.
The Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation (KFO) has joined forces with Norwegian partner Biomarine Science Technology (BST) for the project which will create up to 50 jobs during the construction phase and a further 70 direct and indirect jobs when it intends to go into full production in 2016.
The highly innovative new facility will be used to extract high-end proteins, oils and calcium from fish for use as food ingredients. These include valuable marine proteins as well as lipids, which are naturally occurring molecules and fat-soluble vitamins. The proposed plant also has the potential to produce supplements for athletes thereby deriving optimal advantage of the health benefits of fish.
“This proposed new facility can become a game-changer in the seafood sector positioning Killybegs and Ireland as a global leader in supply and research around new products and benefits from protein, oils and calcium associated with the sea”, said Sean O’Donoghue, Chief Executive of the KFO. “
With increasing food ingredient prices and a shortage of quality protein in the market, there is a significant opening in the market for the output which this new venture can deliver. The increased focus on health and rising demand for foodstuffs high in healthy content has led to rapid growth in the health and sports nutrition market. We have already met with leading food producers in Europe and the USA who are extremely supportive of the venture and enthusiastic about entering into supply contracts with it.”
A new joint venture company, Bio-marine Ingredients Ireland Ltd (BII), has been formed to promote the proposed new facility which represents a new departure for the marine sector in Donegal. “The Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation is committed to developing and advancing any sea fisheries issues of relevance to its members”, continued Mr O’Donoghue. “Diversification and the establishment of new high-value activities such as this, is a key part of our remit. By forging an alliance with BST we are partnering with a firm with many years of experience in pharmaceutical, marine biotech and international commodity business. BST has a long experience in this area and has the technical expertise to enable production of valuable fractions from marine species – including clean fish oil.”
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