Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Questions (484)

Catherine Connolly


484. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the consideration being given to halting further open sea cage fish farming to protect the marine environment in view of the decision of the Danish Government to halt further open sea cage fish farming in Danish coastal waters; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37167/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Applications for Aquaculture Licences are considered by my Department under the provisions of the 1997 Fisheries (Amendment) Act, the 1933 Foreshore Act and applicable national and EU legislation. The legislation provides for a period of public and statutory consultation.

Decisions in respect of applications are only made following the fullest consideration of all technical, scientific, environmental and public policy aspects of each application.

In addition, any person may appeal a licensing decision to the Aquaculture Licences Appeals Board (ALAB) which is an independent body established by Statute for the purpose of considering appeals of aquaculture licensing decisions.

Accordingly, in view of the rigorous and transparent licensing system operating in Ireland in respect of aquaculture licence applications, there is no valid basis for discontinuing the processing of licensing applications in accordance with statutory procedures.