IRELAND’S fishing fleet is already attracting almost half a billion euro in exports; figures show Irish seafood was exported to more than 80 markets worldwide last year. The haul was valued at €493m, a massive 32pc jump since 2010 when €373m was exported.
Ireland’s seafood exports to international markets outside the EU amounted to €156m last year, an increase of 5pc on the 2012 figures. An estimated 65pc of Irish seafood exports are sold in EU markets, with France being the main market followed by UK and Spain.
However, targeting countries outside Europe remains of vital importance – especially for the Irish fleet which fishes mainly mackerel, herring, blue whiting and boar fish. These types of fish, are favoured in Nigeria, Cameroon, Russia and China.
Exports to Asian markets reached €38m in 2013, a hike of 41pc on the previous year. In the last year alone Irish seafood exports have jumped by 122pc to Hong Kong, 104pc to Russia and 59pc to China.