Record exports for Ireland Irish seafood exports reached a record level of ¤433m in 2001, representing an increase of 31%. Exports to Europe accounted for the bulk of trade, representing 76%. There were increases in all of the main categories of fish and seafood. The leading European market destinations are France, Britain, Spain, Germany and Italy. The export figures are very much in line with BIM's market strategy for 2001-2006, which aims to achieve a total seafood industry output of ¤735m by 2006. Seafood exports for 2001 also outperformed overall national food and drink exports, which fell 8.2% to ¤6,182m in 2001. Up to 27 Irish companies participated this week in the European Seafood Exhibition. "BIM is increasing its marketing efforts in Europe, and providing more targeted trade development and promotion opportunities," said Pat Keogh, chief executive, Irish Sea Fisheries Board (BIM). "These efforts, coupled with initiatives aimed at improving the marketing skills of exporting companies, as well as enhanced market co-operation across the industry, will be key factors in consolidating the strong growth in exports that have been achieved to date." Exhibitors included: Carrokeel Seafoods; Connemara Seafoods; Dundalk Bay Seafoods; Fastnet Mussels; HJ Nolan; and Irish Seafood Producers Group. {{MEAT }}