Seafood industry has the recipe for success

Diarmuid & Michael Kelly, Kelly's Oysters

Five renowned local seafood producers all feature as part of a new seafood trail along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Killary Fjord Shellfish; Marty’s Mussels; Connemara Smokehouse; Mungo Murphy’s Seaweed and Kelly Oysters are among the seafood producers to be profiled on the ‘Taste the Atlantic- a Seafood Journey’ trail.

The trail, which runs along the Wild Atlantic Way route, offers visitor attractions designed to highlight Ireland’s seafood and coastal heritage and was developed by Bord Iascaigh Mhara in partnership with Failte Ireland.

Visitors are invited to call to see some of Galway’s seafood producers for an immersive experience in which they can learn the growing and processing techniques, handed down through generations, and sample some of the local products fresh from the sea.

Killary Fjord Shellfish – run by Simon and Kate Kennedy – overlooks Killary Harbour where Simon has farmed mussels since the late 1980s. And as part of the Taste the Atlantic trail, Simon and Kate have developed a unique visitor experience to showcase the stunning scenery and exceptional seafood offering exclusive to the area.

Visitors can take part in a boat tour of the Fjord and mussel farm with Simon followed by a home-cooked rustic seafood meal featuring Killary Fjord Shellfish prepared on-shore by Kate.

Marty’s Mussels is a family business run by Catherine Nee in North Connemara.

Founded by Catherine’s late husband Marty in 2000, they have produce rope-grown mussels in the crystal-clear waters of Killary Harbour. Marty’s Mussels are currently available in select hotels and restaurants across Ireland.

Founded by John and Bridget Roberts in 1979, Connemara Smokehouse is the oldest smokehouse in Connemara.

Today, their son Graham and his wife Saoirse manage the business and produce smoked salmon, tuna, mackerel, and other tasty products from the sea.

The fish which is caught locally is hand-filleted and dry-salted before smoking using a combination of sea salt and beechwood to create the perfect flavour and texture.

Mungo Murphy’s Seaweed Company is named after a fictional character who captures the essence of the rugged Atlantic coast and the wild energy of the sea which provides the O’Brien family with the raw materials for their business.

Founded by mother and daughter, Cindy and Sinead O’Brien in 2014, Mungo Murphy’s Seaweed Company produces the much sought after shellfish delicacy, abalone alongside a range of artisan food and beauty products derived from hand-harvested local seaweed.

Kelly Oysters was founded by Michael and Bridget Kelly more than 60 years ago in Galway Bay. A second-generation family business, Kelly Oysters is now run by their sons Micheal and Diarmuid Kelly who have followed tradition working with their wives Mary and Theresa.

The Kellys are among the few Irish producers to cultivate both Irish rock and native oysters which have very different flavours.

They supply high quality oysters and shellfish to some of the finest restaurants and fish wholesalers throughout Ireland, Europe and around the world.

BIM values the Galway aquaculture industry at almost €38 million, employing 287 people in 46 production units along the coast.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to tell the story of Galway’s strong seafood heritage to visitors along the trail,” said BIM CEO Jim O’Toole.

“From the Galway Bay oysters harvested in a picturesque inlet at Killeenaran; the mussels grown on ropes in the clear waters of Killary Harbour and the tradition of smoking salmon on the Connemara coast; right through to the cultivation of the rare seafood delicacy abalone in Rossaveel, there is plenty to see and learn about Irish seafood along the Galway coast,” he added.