24 August 2017
By Bryan T. Smyth
Three local seafood producers featured as part of food tourism venture along the Wild Atlantic Way
Roaring Water Bay Rope Mussels, Baltimore; Ummera Smoked Products, Timoleague; and Haven Shellfish, Oysterhaven are among the seafood producers announced to be profiled on the ‘Taste the Atlantic- a Seafood Journey’ trail along the Wild Atlantic Way route. The trail, which offers visitor attractions designed to highlight Ireland’s seafood and coastal heritage, was developed by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) in partnership with Failte Ireland. According to BIM, the Cork aquaculture industry is valued at more than €33 million, employing 253 people in 48 production units along the coast.
Visitors on the ‘Taste the Atlantic – a Seafood Journey’ trail are invited to call to see some of Cork’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.
Jim O’Toole, CEO, BIM said “We are delighted to have the opportunity to tell the story of Cork’s strong seafood heritage to visitors along the trail. From the oysters produced in the shallow and pure waters of Oysterhaven Bay; the story of how mussels grow suspended on ropes in the water column in Roaringwater Bay; through to the tradition of smoking salmon on the banks of the River Agrideen, there is plenty to see and learn about Irish seafood along the Cork coast.”
The Cork producers featured on the trail include:
Colin Whooley, Roaringwater Bay Rope Mussels
Established in 1991, Roaring Water Bay Rope Mussels specialises in the exporting of bulk and live shellfish to wholesalers and distributors in Ireland and the rest of Europe. Local tour company, Baltimore Safari run by Michael Cottrell, operates daily coastal sightseeing boat trips with whale, dolphin, seal and wildlife watching. The tour route includes the Roaringwater Bay Rope Mussel Farm where tour-guide Michael was previously employed. Visitors on the trail are encouraged to join this tour, experience the mussel farm up close and learn about how rope-grown mussels are cultivated.
Anthony Creswell, Ummera Smoked Products, Timoleague
Ummera Smoked Products was founded in 1988 by Anthony Creswell and his father, a keen fisherman, who had been smoking fish since the 1970’s in order to preserve the salmon he and his friends were catching on the local rivers in West Cork. The business has significantly expanded since then and is now distributing Ummera Smoked Products worldwide. Visitors on the trail are encouraged to take a tour of Ummera’s state of the art smokehouse on the banks of the River Agrideen. Here they can see Anthony and his staff fillet, pin bone and trim the freshly harvested organic salmon by hand before curing it and smoking it over oak sawdust fires which creates its distinctive flavour.
Ger and Jamie Dwyer, Haven Shellfish, Oysterhaven
Ger and Jamie Dwyer founded Haven Shellfish in the stunning Oysterhaven Bay in Kinsale, Co. Cork in 1984. The oysters, which take three years to grow, are harvested, cleaned, packed and distributed to Haven Shellfish customers in local restaurants in Kinsale and around the southern coast. Haven Shellfish also supply a large range of other fish products, including rope-grown mussels, sourced from producers along the coastline. More recently, Ger and Jamie began selling fresh oysters and shellfish directly to consumers from a mobile tasting tent. This has allowed them to exhibit at local food fairs including the Kinsale Gourmet Chowder Festival and Cork Week. They can also host visitors for oyster tastings in their scenic garden overlooking the stunning Oysterhaven Bay.