Seafood from Ireland – The Quality Choice
With access to the vast, cool waters of the Atlantic, Ireland offers some of Europe’s finest and freshest seafood, from an industry committed to quality in every offering. Ireland’s coastline consists of wide bays, rocky shorelines and deep harbours, which provide a rich aquatic environment for a wide and diverse range of seafood to flourish. Species including lobster, shrimp, mackerel, whelk, razor clam, and crab (brown, velvet and spider) are all sourced using traditional fishing methods and with world class assurances around food safety and quality, thanks to the interconnecting work of the industry and its agencies, the Irish Government and the European Union.
This is an industry proudly built on knowledge and partnerships – between fishers and the sea, and between suppliers and their customers. It is also an industry where a commitment to the environment is constantly evolving and depending on species, is led by Fisheries Improvement Projects (FIPs); quota control and regulations on conservation; and the leading sustainability programme Origin Green, run by Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board
About Bord Bia
Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board is a government agency, which acts as a link between Irish food, drink and horticulture suppliers, and both new and existing customers throughout the world. Headquartered in Dublin, Bord Bia has a global reach through a network of offices in EMEA, Asia and the USA. Building close relationships with industry buyers and Irish suppliers, Bord Bia plays a key role in supporting and developing supply opportunities across key seafood export markets. Recognising in-depth market knowledge and strong relationships as central to growth, Bord Bia assists in market research; innovation; trade show participation; buyer-supplier events; and seafood promotions; as well as B2B and B2C programmes that connect buyers and consumers with quality Irish seafood.
Origin Green is Ireland’s leading edge sustainability programme for the food, drink and horticulture industry. Through Origin Green, Irish seafood producers commit to delivering improved performances in areas such as raw material sourcing, emissions, energy, waste, water, biodiversity and social sustainability. To find out how Irish seafood producers are committed to harnessing Ireland’s marine resources in a responsible manner visit www.origingreen.ie.
Get a Taste of Irish Seafood
Delicious, succulent Irish brown crab is a non-quota species in high demand among consumers across the globe. Strict regulations on stock management ensure Irish brown crab reach a minimum conservation reference size (up to 2kg) before being landed, while the use of traditional pots in fishing essentially eliminates by-catch. FIPs play a key role in the ongoing sustainability of brown crab and underpin a dedicated and comprehensive approach to the conservation of the species by Irish fishers.
Sweet and juicy, with an exceptionally delicate flavour, the spider crab is available from Irish processors in both fresh and frozen cooked formats. It is the largest crab found in Irish waters and is fished from mid spring to late summer by small day fishing boats in inshore waters, using traditional baited pots. Continued management of the stock is governed by Spider Crab (Conservation of Stocks) Regulations 2006, meaning only spider crab finished breeding are landed, with appropriate minimum conservation reference sizes applying for male and female crab.
Velvet Crab, easily recognised by its brilliant shade of red when cooked, is popular for its delicious taste and ease of preparation. Sold by Irish suppliers in pasteurised, raw and frozen formats, it is caught throughout the year on Ireland’s rocky shorelines by inshore fishermen with small day fishing boats. Catches adhere to the Velvet Crab (Conservation of Stocks) Regulations 2017, with minimum conservation reference sizes that help ensure continued stock management.
The centrepiece of many seafood platters and the premium addition to hot dishes, bisques, pasta and salads, Irish lobster is sold either live or in a cooked format, and is noted for the abundance of meat in its claws, knuckles and tail. Conservation is key to the continued supply of the highest quality product. The national ‘V’-notching programme, whereby a small V-shaped notch is cut in the tails of the female lobster to mark and protect them from being landed or sold, is successfully safeguarding future stocks.
Perennially popular mackerel is a quota species in Ireland. Mackerel travel in huge schools and move to inshore waters or offshore shallow banks around the Irish coast over the summer months when the sea temperature begins to rise, a time when hook and line fishing for the species is popular. Fresh mackerel is highly regarded as a delicious fish for the table, renowned for its flesh quality, taste, versatility and well – documented health benefits.
Razor Clams, found along the Irish coast, are a smooth and tasty addition to any seafood recipe and a lean source of protein. They are also rich in omega – 3 fatty acids. A razor clam has two valves which are held together by a strong ligament along one side. The ends are open like a tube and the flesh within is firm and white. Irish razor clams are fished using small day boats, and are washed, hand graded and packed to meet market demands. They are available in live, frozen and vacuum-packed formats, all to the exacting requirements of international customers. The Razor Clam (Conservation of Stocks) (North Irish Sea) Regulations 2018 tightly control their fishing.
Wild Irish shrimp is known for its exceptional flavour and flesh texture and comes in live, raw and cooked formats. Smaller than prawn, shrimp is a delicacy that also offers a rich source of protein. The indented Irish coastline and warming Gulf Stream waters make the country a particularly rich source of supply. Shrimp are caught in inshore waters by fishers, using baited pots in small day fishing boats, adhering to the fishing season set out in current Conservation of Stocks Regulations.
Traditional, low impact methods are key to the sourcing of Irish whelks. Fished throughout the year, they have a sweet yet tangy taste and represent a highly prized addition to many seafood dishes. Irish suppliers provide international customers with access to the freshest product at all times and export c. 2,000 tonnes each year. Irish whelk fishers commit to responsible fishing methods through The Whelk (Conservation of Stocks) Regulations 2006.
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