New Visitor Attraction Overlooking Kenmare Bay To Celebrate Ireland’s Mussel Industry
Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland’s Seafood Development Agency, in partnership with Failte Ireland, officially launched a new visitor attraction on the ‘Taste the Atlantic – a Seafood Journey’ trail to celebrate Ireland’s rope mussel industry. ‘The Mussel House’ overlooking the stunning Kenmare Bay tells the story of an industry which began in the early 1970’s which is now valued at €6.5 million. The modern and sustainable rope-grown mussel industry is concentrated in the South West of Ireland and produces almost 10,000 tonnes of mussels grown on special ‘long lines’ for both the Irish and export market each year.
The Mussel House is located adjoining the renowned Helen’s Bar on Kilmackilogue Pier which serves fresh mussels harvested only 1 kilometre away in Kenmare Bay by local husband and wife team, Carl and Angela Daly of Kenmare Bay Seafoods.
Jim O’Toole, CEO BIM said “We are delighted to be here today, in partnership with Failte Ireland, to launch this informative showcase that forms part of the successful BIM Taste the Atlantic – a Seafood Journey trail. The trail is designed to highlight, inform and build an appreciation for Irish seafood producers along the Wild Atlantic Way. Kerry and the wider South West region have led the way in terms of rope mussel production. This exhibit, housed in one of Ireland’s most visited destinations for seafood lovers, will celebrate this successful sector and allow visitors to immerse themselves in more than the usual culinary experience as they learn about local producers Carl and Angela Daly, how Irish rope mussels are sustainably cultivated, their biology and nutritional value. Essentially, it will connect the place with the people and the product”
‘The Mussel House’ features visual story boards detailing Irish rope mussel production and facts about mussels including how it can take up to 2 years for mussels to reach market size; how mussels gram by gram contain more iron than beef; how a single mussel can filter up to 65 litres of water a day and the species grown in Ireland is known as the Blue mussel.
Marie Healy, Project Officer, Wild Atlantic Way, Failte Ireland added; ‘The launch of the Mussel House only serves to reinforce the growing potential of Taste the Atlantic – A Seafood Journey. In addition to providing another great enhancement for visitors travelling the Wild Atlantic Way, this exhibit will encourage those who travel along the route to slow down, dwell longer and immerse themselves in the local seafood traditions and practices of the West coast, all while fostering a deeper appreciation for our exceptional seafood producers, clean Atlantic waters and growing food reputation. In Fáilte Ireland, we look forward to working closely with BIM on the continuous development of this distinctive visitor trail.’
The ‘Taste the Atlantic- a Seafood Journey’ trail along the Wild Atlantic Way route was devised by BIM in conjunction with Failte Ireland to offer visitor attractions designed to highlight Ireland’s seafood and coastal heritage and develop an appreciation about how our seafood is caught and farmed.
Kenmare Bay Seafoods is one of 22 seafood producers featured along the trail which runs from the tip of the Inishowen Peninsula right down to Oysterhaven bay in Cork. Founded by husband and wife, Carl and Angela Daly in 1982, the business began growing and supplying wholesale mussels to the French seafood market and has since grown to become recognised as a market leader in innovative gourmet seafood.
With her strong background working within the gourmet food sector and a qualification from Ireland’s acclaimed Ballymaloe Cookery School, it was a natural progression for Angela to begin experimenting with prepared meal options using their exquisite supply of Kenmare Bay mussels. The result is an award-winning chef-developed range of meals created using quality natural ingredients.
The Mussel House is part of Helen’s Bar on Kilmackilogue Pier and will be open to the public from 11am-11:30pm Monday – Sunday. Admission is free. It is the perfect location to see first-hand Ireland’s sustainable rope mussel industry and taste the product in a unique environment.
For more information about BIM’s Taste the Atlantic – a Seafood Journey please visit www.bim.ie/tastetheatlantic and the Wild Atlantic Way website http://www.wildatlanticway.com/stories/food/seafood-itinerary
For more information on Kenmare Bay Seafoods visit www.kenmarebayseafoods.ie