Chinese authorities have approved the commercial import of boarfish from Ireland, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said yesterday. This follows a visit to China in April of the largest ever Irish agri-food delegation. It was led by Mr Coveney.

Boarfish has become much more abundant off the south coast in recent years and Ireland’s boarfish quota is two-thirds of the EU’s allowable catch. The fish is used in the production of fishmeal and fish oils, but also increasingly in seafood products. This year 39 Irish trawlers have caught more than 53,000 tons of the fish.

Mr Coveney said he expected that the opening of the market would help seafood processors and exporters to develop “a very significant” human consumption market for Irish boarfish products in China. Meanwhile, Mr Coveney has come under fire from groups opposed to plans to expand the fish-farm industry and a protest is being planned for outside his office on Saturday.

Source: Irish Times Dec 2012

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