Applications for Aquaculture Licences for the cultivation of finfish in the marine environment are considered by my Department under the provisions of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act 1997 and the Foreshore Act 1933.
Determinations in respect of individual applications are only made following completion of the procedures set down in the applicable legislation and the consideration of all environmental, technical, scientific and public policy aspects of each application.
As the Deputy is aware, the National Strategic Plan for Sustainable Aquaculture Development has been published by my Department and is currently the subject of public consultation. It would not be appropriate for anyone to seek to pre-judge the outcome of the consultation process or any actions, legislative or otherwise, that might follow on from that process.
In the meantime, and in the normal way, applications on hand and all new applications will continue to be assessed under the provisions of the existing legislation and licence determinations made in accordance with the legislation.