Grants worth almost €350,000 have been announced for five Kerry aquaculture businesses.
The grants form part of a total investment of €4.5 million in the aquaculture sector, announced by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue.
Grants have been awarded to 28 companies nationwide under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Programme.
BC Shellfish Ltd in Cahersiveen will receive over €600,000 (€608,007) in funding to help build capacity and increase production on its oyster farm, almost €250,000 (€243,203) of which will come through an EMFF grant.
Over €150,000 (€151,266) will be invested in Cromane Bay Shellfish, including a grant of €60,000 (€60,506), for the purchase of a circular grader and oyster barge.
Dingle Bay Shellfish has been allocated over €75,000 (€75,280) in total for the purchase of a new flat-bottom oyster barge and grader, including an EMFF grant of €30,000 (€30,112).
Liam O'Connor will receive over €18,000 (€18,258) in funding, including a grant of over €7,000 (€7,303), to increase capacity of his oyster farm.
Over €15,000 (€15,128) has been allocated to Michael Scannell, also to increase his oyster farm capacity, including a €6,000 (€6,051) EMFF grant.
Minister for Education and Kerry Fianna Fáil TD Norma Foley, as well as Kerry Fine Gael TD Brendan Griffin, have both welcomed the announcement of the grants.