Bord na Mona is to receive a grant from Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine, Michael Creed’s department for a fish investment in the midlands.
On July 23, Mr Creed announced the award of €1,5m in grants to twenty seafood enterprises in ten different counties under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Operational Programme for the seafood sector.
The grants will support total investment of €4,018,852 in the fisheries, aquaculture and seafood processing sectors. They are co-funded by the Irish government and the EU and subject to terms and conditions.
One of them is for a Bord na Mona aquaculture test project at Mount Lucas near the wind farm in east Offaly, a company spokesperson confirmed.
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The Kildare based company is planning to construct a €351,821 “finfish facility” in conjunction with Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) and will receive grant aid of €105,546 towards it.
Bord na Mona spokesperson, Pat Sammon, said Bord na Mona and BIM will conduct a test, which has not been tried yet, to see how a fish farm would work in the area. A small section of land will be filled with water and tests carried out.
The grant is given under the Sustainable Aquaculture scheme. The Department said the Sustainable Aquaculture Scheme supports capital investment by licensed aquaculture enterprises to sustainably grow production and reduce environmental impact of aquaculture.
Mr Sammon said there was no timeline yet for the completion of the project.
Minister Creed said it was very encouraging to see a continued increase in investment in aquaculture and these investments will positively contribute to our sustainable growth targets for the sector.