My Department considers all applications for aquaculture licences in accordance with the provisions of the 1997 Fisheries (Amendment) Act, the 1933 Foreshore Act and applicable EU legislation. The licensing process involves consultation with a wide range of scientific and technical advisers as well as various Statutory Consultees. The legislation also provides for a period of public consultation.
In addition, the legislation governing aquaculture licensing provides for an appeals mechanism. Appeals against licence decisions are a matter for the Aquaculture Licences Appeals Board (ALAB) which is an independent statutory body. Full details of the appeals process can be obtained at: http://www.alab.ie/appealsprocess/
In accordance with the applicable legislation, the Statutory and Public Consultation phase in respect of these applications has concluded. As some applications for aquaculture and foreshore licences in Castlemaine Harbour are still under active consideration by my Department, and the period which allows for an appeal of a decision has not yet concluded for applications which have been determined, it would not be appropriate for me to comment on the matter at this time.