Marine Harvest Ireland (MHI) has signed a deal worth €2.5 million with Mannin Bay Salmon Company to grow organic salmon on sites in Bertraghboy Bay in Galway.
The sites in the new agreement offer a total annual harvest capacity of 1,200 tonnes of organic salmon, so will allow for a significant increase on the 8,441 tonnes MHI harvested in 2016.
“The exposed nature of our coastline with excellent water exchange suits organic salmon farming very well. The relatively shallow nature of our coastline does not allow for deep sites or large volume production of salmon. Hence organic farming is a very good natural fit for us,” Catherine McManus, Technical Manager of MHI, told The Fish Site.
The 5-year agreement will see collaboration on the production of three salmon cycles, meaning continuity of supply for local processor Kilkieran Salmon and the MHI Rinmore Processing plant in Donegal. MHI will supply new pens, marine vessels and related infrastructure, in addition to management and technical support.
Capital investment amounts to €2.5million with operating costs to be shared between both companies.
Pat Connors, Sales and Processing Director at MHI said: “Marine Harvest Ireland is enthusiastic about working with local partners and suppliers where possible. This is a very significant announcement in that it represents a new supply line for our global export business. As a result of this partnership, we will have an even greater resource across a number of crucial areas of the business including an experienced management team, heavy-duty equipment and modern technology.”
Gerard O’Donohoe of Mannin Bay Salmon Company stated: “This deal is vital for continuity of supply to our markets all year round. 90% of our produce is exported to markets in the USA, Canada, Dubai, Switzerland, Germany, Holland and France. We are delighted to be partnering with a company of the profile and expertise of Marine Harvest and believe that this venture will be very positive for the local economy.”
MHI previously produced fish in Kilkieran Bay in a partnership with Cill Chiaráin Éisc Teoranta. In Ireland alone, MHI contributes over €15million to the domestic economy annually with some 800 Irish suppliers presently doing business with the company here. The company has a €22million investment earmarked for Ireland over the next five years, subject to new licences and renewals.
“We plan to upgrade all existing sites and invest in potential new sites such as the Shot Head licence which we have applied for and still await a final decision. The investment will include this project in Bertraghboy Bay, Co. Galway,” McManus added to The Fish Site.
The company has operated in Ireland for 38 years, and now employs over 260 people between its salmon farms and hatcheries in Donegal, Mayo and Bantry.
Mannin Bay Salmon Company currently employs 25 people, along with five-part time staff. This announcement will underpin and sustain those jobs, with additional personnel from MHI being deployed on-site. The company has been farming salmon in Connemara since the early 1980s and has operated in Bertraghboy Bay since 2008. Its stock is currently processed at Kilkieran Salmon.