Speaking at the conference are:

Donal Maguire

Donal Maguire - Chair of Sessions 1 and 2

Donal Maguire was born in 1960 and grew up in a small seaside town in the west coast of Ireland. Educated to secondary level by the Benedictines, he took a BSc (Hons) Degree in Zoology and Botany in University College Cork, graduating in 1981.

From college he went straight into the Irish fish farming industry, working for Curraun Fisheries Ltd. (a wholly owned Guinness subsidiary at that time) as Quality Controller and New Projects Executive.

A toxic phytoplankton bloom and itchy feet then placed him on the emigration trail and a long spell in the Scottish salmon farming industry, mostly based on the Western Isles of Lewis and Harris. From 1984 to 1997 he was General Manager of a number of companies including Pairc Salmon Ltd., Eirean Glas Salmon Ltd., Gaelic Seafoods (Scotland) Ltd. and was also International Sea Farming Director for Clearwater Aquaculture Ltd.

In 1988, he was awarded a Nutfield Scholarship and during his time in Scotland he was a long-term committee member of the National Farmers Union (sub-committee for fish farming), a founder member of the Western Isles Fish Farmers Association, the Western Isles Fisheries Trust and the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation.

Returning to Ireland in 1997, Donal Maguire now holds the position of Aquaculture Development Manager of the Irish Sea Fisheries Board, which organisation has the national brief for aquaculture development in the Irish State.

He is married and has two children aged 14 and 17 years.


Amarjit Sahota

Amarjit Sahota is the founder and director of Organic Monitor, a specialist research, consulting & training firm that specialises on the global organic & related product industries.

Download Amarjit Sahota's presentation (pdf 1,326Kb) 

Amarjit has been involved in the health, wellness and sustainable industries for over 15 years. He has assisted a wide range of clients in realising their business potential in these industries. His clients range from multinationals, government organizations, to dedicated organic food companies. The client list of Organic Monitor includes Aveda, Weleda, Hain Celestial, Burt’s Bees, Organic Valley, TetraPak, and the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). 
 Sahota has been quoted extensively in the media, which include The Financial Times, The Independent, Forbes, Fortune, European Cosmetic Markets, Chemist & Druggist, European Food & Drink, Food Chemical News, Nordic Business Report and Asian Business.
He is regularly invited to deliver papers at international events. In the last 12 months, he has presented at BioFach/Vivaness (Nuremberg, Feb 2013), Sustainable Foods Summit America (San Francisco, Jan 2013), Cosmoprof Asia ; (Hong Kong, Nov 2012), Sustainable Cosmetics Summit Asia (Hong Kong, Nov 2012), Sustainable Cosmetics Summit Europe (Paris, Nov 2012), Natural Products Expo Asia (Hong Kong, Aug 2013), Asia Natural Cosmetics Masterclass (Paris, June 2012), Sustainable Foods Summit (Amsterdam, June 2012), Natural Products Europe (London, April 2012), In-Cosmetics (Barcelona, April 2012), and Cosmoprof (Bologna, March 2012).
Amarjit holds degrees in Applied Chemistry and Management Science as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing. He has co-authored a number of books on sustainability and organic products. He is currently working on a book on Sustainability in the Beauty Industry.

Lucy Watson

Lucy Watson

Download Lucy Watson's presentation (pdf 1,894Kb) 

Lucy is based in the Aquaculture Development Division, BIM. She holds an M.A. and MSc in Natural Science (Zoology) from Trinity College Dublin and University College Cork. For her MBA Trinity College Dublin she specialised in banking, business and technical innovation and development in Irish Aquaculture. Lucy’s specialised area of interest includes new and novel aquaculture species development and technologies, business writing, planning and advising for aquaculture production and financial modelling and analysis. Lucy offers project and client supervision which involves a hands-on approach and targeted support in-line with industry needs analysis.

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Sally McKenna

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Sally McKenna is a cookery editor, photographer and film-maker and the publisher of the award-winning McKennas’ Guides, working from her office in West Cork.  She began her food writing career with a column in the Irish Independent and made the RTÉ television series McKennas’ Ireland with her husband John. Since then, she has published a number of food titles alongside the guide book series, including Pizza Defined by Bernadette O’Shea, and Martin’s Fishy Fishy Cookbook, with Martin Shanahan. In 2013 Sally wrote and published Extreme Greens: Understanding Seaweed. The book has been described as a “wonderful book”, Domini Kemp in The Irish Times, a book that will “open doors to a wondrous world” by Food & Wine magazine, and “a book that needed to be written” by Darina Allen.

BIM's conference should be of interest to people employed in Ireland's seafood sector interested in starting or continuing to farm and produce seaweed for national and global food markets, farmers interested in receiving the latest cutting edge market intelligence on seaweed consumed in the EU, national and international academics and researchers working in the seaweed or related area of maritime farming, food companies seeking new product development opportunities for farmed seaweed-based food products and investors looking for the ”newest thing” in Ireland's seafood sector.

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Mr. Yoichi Sato

Download Yoichi Sato's presentation (pdf 6,266Kb) 

Mr. Yoichi Sato obtained a Master’s degree in Algal Ecology and Physiology at the University of Tohoku, Japan, in 2001. From 2001 to 2002, he was an officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Further, from 2002 to 2005, he was an assistant professor in the Graduate School of Agricultural Science Faculty of Agriculture, Tohoku University. Since 2005, he has been a researcher at Riken Food Co., Ltd. Moreover, since 2013, he has been following a doctoral course at the Graduate School of Frontier Science, the University of Tokyo. His research interests include developing new seaweed products, improving the culture system, and performing selective breeding of new cultivars.

Michael Keating

Michael Keatinge - Chair of Session 3

Michael Keatinge was appointed Fisheries Development Manager of Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) in October 2000. A native of Waterford, Michael is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin (TCD), where he was awarded a B.A. (Mod) Degree in Zoology and a Diploma in Statistics, and the College of Further Education, Plymouth, where he was awarded a National Certificate in Nautical Science.

Following secondary education at the Christian Brother in Waterford, Michael joined the Irish State shipping company, Irish Shipping, and from 1978 to 1990 served as a deck officer on a variety of vessels in the Irish deep-sea and, later, near continental fleet. Between 1991 and 1993 he worked as a full-time lecturer in the Zoology Department, Trinity College, Dublin where he taught physiology and applied statistics. In 1994 he joined the Fisheries Research Centre (later the Marine Institute) at Abbotstown where he worked as Statistician & Population Modeller. Michael joined the Fisheries Development Division of BIM in 1998 and during the past 10 years has overseen the implementation of the Whitefish Renewal Scheme and the Fisheries Development programme of the National Development Plan 2000 – 2006.


Susan Brawley

Susan Brawley is Professor of Botany at the School of Marine Sciences at the University of Maine, USA. She holds a PhD in Botany from the University of California, Berkeley.

Download Susan Brawley's presentation (pdf 9,105Kb) 

Academic positions held by Professor Brawley include visiting scholar at Duke University, a private research university based in North Carolina, USA and as an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham, England. Earlier appointments were as Assistant Professor of Biology at the Vanderbilt University, USA and as a fellow and research associate at the United States' renowned Smithsonian Institution.

Professor Brawley is widely published and reviewed and a regular speaker on the international conference circuit. Professor Brawley's extensive research interests and record includes her current work at the University of Maine's Centre for Co-operative Aquaculture Research, where sea vegetable aquaculture is a key focus. Sea vegetable aquaculture is a relatively new industry in the US and Maine is at the forefront of developments.

Sea vegetables are a $6 billion market worldwide and Maine's cold, clean ocean waters produce a high quality wild harvest that is highly sought after. The sea vegetable research program at the CCAR is currently focused on a number of areas such as: 

  • Building infrastructure to encourage use of sea vegetables in integrated polytrophic aquaculture (IMTA or IPTA) with field trials of the kelp Saccharina latissima on shellfish lease sites and by establishing a spore seed-stock nursery for multiple species (e.g., laver, dulse, kelps) at the CCAR. 
    • developing of culture techniques for native prohyra species. Maine has at least 7 native species of Porphyra.
    • The goal of the research at CCAR is to develop some of these as new mariculture crops in Maine. The Centre is studying environmental cues that trigger reproduction in Maine's native species, in order to be able to control these for net-seeding of Porphyra.
  • Using cultured seaweeds as a feed source for other crops such as the green sea urchin.  
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Freddie O'Mahony

Freddie O'Mahony M.Sc. (Cartron Point Shellfish Ltd., Company Director) has over 35 years’ experience in the aquaculture industry.

The main emphasis of earlier research was on the development of a cheap and efficient method for mass cultivation of diatoms for bivalve spat. Since 2004, with BIM funding, Freddie has operated a macroalgal hatchery and seasonal scallop hatchery at the Daithi O Murchu Marine Research Station, Bantry, Co.Cork.

Freddie has conducted seaweed growth trials annually at a number of sites on the west and south-west coast of Ireland. The main species cultivated is Alaria esculenta (Atlantic wakame) and yields of over 7kg/m have been consistently achieved. Seeded string produced in the hatchery has been provided to a number of companies and entrepeneurs who are developing novel seaweed products.

CPS participated in the Project, PBA/SW/07/001(01) which was carried out under the Sea Change Strategy with the support of the Marine Institute and the National development plan. The main emphasis of this project was to cultivate and trial three seaweed species with commercial potential. These species were Laminaria digitata, Palmaria palmata and Porhyra sp. Freddie quickly developed a protocol for culturing Laminaria digitata and this has been made available to the industry. Seeded string of Palmaria palmata was also produced in the hatchery and land based tank cultivation of Palmaria palmata was investigated.

Freddie has spent the last decade researching and developing macroalgal hatchery and ongrowing techniques. Hatchery production of 1000m of seeded string in 2004 has increased to a capability of 20,000m this winter.


Helena Abreu (PhD), R&D Director

Helena has a PhD in Biology from the University of Porto, Portugal and is currently the research and development director of Algaplus.

Download Dr Helena Abreu's Presentation (pdf 4,758Kb) 

Mission which she co-founded. Dr Abreu is an expert in physiology and aquaculture of marine macroalgae, with experience both in the laboratory as well as in pilot scale production systems. Helena was responsible for macroalgae production systems associated with salmon off-shore aquacultures (in Chile and Ireland) and with land-based seabass, seabream and sole (in Portugal), working Gracilaria, Laminaria and Alaria, among other species. Before being actively involved in ALGAPLUS, Dr. Abreu collaborated in the research and management aspects of several European projects: MABFUEL, NETALGAE, ASIMUTH e IDREEM.  Dr Abreu co-founded  ALGAPLUS. the pioneer, in Portugal, of the production of marine macroalgae (marine vegetables) and its application as the extractive component (biofilter) in integrated multi-trophic aquaculture systems (IMTA). Algaplus works to produce macroalgae and macrolgae-derived products in an environmentally sustainable and socially responsible way, through constant innovation, with high quality standards and rigorous traceability. To promote the implementation of integrated multi-trophic aquaculture systems, as way to develop sustainable fed-aquaculture. 


Catherine Morrison

Download Catherine Morrison's presentation (pdf 983Kb) 

Catherine is the Project Development Manager in the Aquaculture Division of BIM.  She is responsible for the administration of grants for the aquaculture industry.  Her background is in marine biology and aquaculture from working in Scotland on salmon farms before moving to Ireland to work for BIM in quality standards development and more recently industry financing.

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David Millard

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David  works in the marine industry  and holds a joint honours degree in Marine Biology / Oceanography from UCNW, Bangor ( 1990) and  a post-graduate masters in Aquaculture from University College Cork (1994).
Since then he has worked in research with UCC. His  industry work has seen him operate as a commercial diver/biologist and as production manager for the salmon farming company Gaelic Seafoods,   the Inland Fisheries Board, and as a private aquaculture consultant to BIM.  David has a strong interest in seaweeds, their production, collection and uses. Having set up a number of businesses in this field he hopes to further grow this aspect of his career.


Kate Burns

Kate Burns Bsc.Hons., Msc.RD, Dip CDP., is Managing Director of Islander Kelp. Kate spend most of her younger life on Rathlin Island and raised a family there. Now they are working with her producing and processing Islander Kelp. Kate has been involved in rural and marine development for many years, running her own consultancy from 2007 to 2013. During this time she prepared coastal community plans for all of the Rep. Of Ireland for the irish seafood Board. 

She was contracted to the Gulf of Maine Research Institute as Director of Community initiatives from 2010 to 2012, helping establish programmes to assist the fishing and seafood industries deal with change and become sustainable. Between 2008 and 2010 Kate was contracted to the Cyprus government to devise a planning framework in preparation of the possible reunification of the island. Prior to 2007 Kate was Chief Executive of the cross border local authority organization ICBAN covering the north west of the island of Ireland tasked with implementing cross border EU Programs. Kate came to the ICBAN position from seven years in a local authority position in Northern Ireland where she headed up the Economic Development Program. During this time, she carried out other international assignments including work in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in preparation for accession to the European Union. Prior to 1994 Kate lived on Rathlin Island where she ran a regeneration program as well as her own restaurant and interpretive tours business.


Máitrín Walshe

Download Mairtin Walsh's presentation (pdf 550Kb) 

Máitrín is BIM's Business Development Officer for the western region specialising in aquaculture and seaweed.