27 September 2016
Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Seafood Development Agency, were proud to support another successful Galway Oyster & Seafood Festival this year from the 23rd – 25th September. Profiling BIM’s successful ‘Taste the Atlantic – a Seafood Journey’; the agency hosted an informative oyster showcase to inform visitors of the provenance of our world renowned oysters including the history, cultivation techniques and the distinctive tastes from different bays along the West Coast. Different species of oysters were shucked and visitors were invited to taste the oysters to discover the unique ‘meroir’ between native and Irish rock oysters. Assisted by Kelly’s Oysters, BIM even managed to convince new visitors to the festival to taste oysters for the first time!
Pictured at the BIM Taste the Atlantic showcase at the Galway Oyster Festival are: Ian Mannix, BIM; Michael O’Meara, Oscar’s Seafood Bistro and Richard Donnelly, BIM
Tara McCarthy, BIM’s Chief Executive stressed the importance of Ireland’s oyster and aquaculture sector; ‘BIM is responsible for developing Ireland’s Aquaculture Industry and the renowned Galway Oyster Festival, which attracts more than 3,000 people ,is the perfect fit and opportunity to build a greater appreciation for our shellfish and fish farmers and in particular our exceptional oysters. Worth over €38 million at first point of sale, Irish Oysters are sought after worldwide and famous for their quality. The sector is part of an overall aquaculture industry worth €149 million. BIM’s ‘Taste the Atlantic – a Seafood Journey’ trail on the Wild Atlantic Way, is designed to educate and excite both Irish and International visitors about this valuable industry and the provenance of our seafood. In partnership with Failte Ireland, we are continuing to develop the trail and the results are already proving extremely positive with some of our seafood producers reporting a 30% increase in domestic sales’
Michael O’Meara, chef and owner of Oscar’s Seafood Bistro in Galway and celebrated author of the award winning ‘Sea Gastronomy’ – a veritable bible of seafood part funded by BIM’s Fisheries Local Action Group programme, provided the finale to BIM’s ‘Taste the Atlantic’ showcase. Michael demonstrated a number of delicious oyster dishes including oysters with a Bloody Mary gazpacho and a mussel and oyster soup.
Also exhibiting at the festival were Taste the Atlantic producers Cindy and Sinead O’Brien of Mungo Murphy’s. Attracting a captive audience for their cookery demonstration, the mother and daughter team cooked abalone soup using their own locally grown abalone (a highly prized shellfish with a beautiful iridescent shell) and delicious seaweed biscuits using locally grown seaweed.