Up to 160 jobs are to be provided in the seafood processing sector over the next three years.

The initiatives were announced by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Simon Coveney, today.

The jobs will be based at several locations around the country.

18 companies around the country have been approved for a total grant aid of €1.7m, with the view to providing the jobs over a three-year period.

In a separate announcement, the Minister also launched a jobs initiative for the port town of Killybegs.

An expert group has been established to identify ways of creating up to 250 new jobs in the area by 2014.

The announcement follows a study carried out for the EU Commission examining how Killybegs can best develop and diversify into the future as a fishing community.