Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Ceisteanna (515)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

515. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of oyster licences for persons (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25082/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

As the Deputy is aware, 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/.

The persons referred to by the Deputy submitted a number of licence applications with other parties for the cultivation of Pacific Oysters on sites in Castlemaine Harbour. Negative determinations were made in respect of these licence applications in Autumn 2018. The reasons for these determinations are set out on my Department’s website at this link:

https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/seafood/aquacultureforeshoremanagement/aquaculturelicensing/aquaculturelicencedecisions/kerry/.

I understand that the applicants and other parties involved have made a number of appeals to the licensing determinations in question to ALAB. As the Board is currently considering these appeals as part of a statutory process, it would not be appropriate for me to comment further on the matter pending the conclusion of that process.