Donegal Catch Supports Sustainable Irish Fishing

Donegal Catch, Ireland’s number one frozen fish brand, has entered a partnership with Responsible Irish Fish, a group dedicated to developing a brand and label to allow Irish fishermen differentiate their products in the market place and to promote Irish fish being caught in a responsible manner.

Olivia Kearney, Donegal Catch brand manager, remarks: “Donegal Catch is proud to be supporting Responsible Irish Fish and will feature the RIF label on the Irish caught species of both the new chilled and existing frozen range, so consumers can easily identify these packs. Where possible, we source our fish in accordance with best practices to ensure the long- term viability of fish supplies in the Irish catching sector that in turn supports jobs and industry. We also feel that it is important for Irish consumers to eat more Irish species and to realise that they are supporting and protecting jobs in the Irish catching sector.”

Frank Fleming, founder of Responsible Irish Fish, comments: “Companies like Donegal Catch play an important role in the sustainability of the Irish fishing sector. The RIF label allows consumers to have confidence in the origins of the seafood that they are eating and comfort in the fact that it has been caught responsibly. We are delighted with the opportunity to be aligned and supported by a reputable quality brand like Donegal Catch.”

Donegal Catch is part of the Green Isle Group. Green Isle currently employs 750 staff of which 68 are directly employed in the fish business that operates out of Gurteen, County Sligo. Turnover for the fish business rose 5% to Eur30million for the fish business in 2011. About 30% of Donegal Catch’s fish business comes from Haddock, Whiting and Plaice – all Irish caught species.

The main aims of the Responsible Irish Fish group behind the label are:

* to assist vessel owners achieve certification for their fish/shellfish

* to develop a brand to allow Irish fishermen differentiate their products in the market place to promote Irish fish caught in a responsible manner.

The development of an Environmental Management System by BIM, with the fishing industry, forms the basis for the new label. The EMS system can be used as a stepping stone to various forms of certification depending on the fishery a vessel is involved in.

The system implemented by the vessels is based on three main pillars:

* quality (ensuring good practice during handling and storage of the catch),

* provenance (the fish/shellfish sold under the label is fully traceable back to an Irish vessel),

* responsibility (environmental responsibility).

The Responsible Irish Fish group aims to stabilise jobs at the vessel level and to create new jobs in the processing sector by encouraging more demand for Irish caught and Irish processed seafood.

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Pictured are: Frank Fleming, founder of Responsible Irish Fish; Jamie Granger, age 5; and Tom Cronin, head of marketing at Donegal Catch.

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