Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Ceisteanna (740, 741, 742)

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

740. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the status of the granting of seaweed harvesting licences. [26255/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

741. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he has identified a body to develop and implement a strategy to underpin the development of the wild seaweed sector and the licensing system that was promised in 2018. [26256/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

742. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the process for applying for a licence to harvest seaweed along the coast. [26257/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 740 to 742, inclusive, together.

In June 2018, at the Our Ocean Wealth Summit in Galway, I clarified the interaction between applications for licences to harvest wild seaweed and existing seaweed harvesting rights, which had been the issue which caused my Department to place the existing applications on hold. Since that time, my Department has been engaging with the applicants involved.

The speech which I made at the Our Ocean Wealth Summit, which sets out the position on this matter, is available on my Department's website at the following link:

https://www.housing.gov.ie/water/foreshore/minister-englishs-address-ocean-wealth-summit

With regards to the process for applying for a licence to harvest wild seaweed, there are a variety of factors involved in the processing of applications. Information on the consent process is available on my Department’s website at the following link:

https://www.housing.gov.ie/planning/foreshore/applying-consent/consent-process-explained.

Each application is processed on a case-by-case basis and timelines depend primarily on the applicant in terms of the provision of technical and environmental information and the necessity for my Department to liaise with external expert bodies regarding the application.

The process of identifying a suitable body to take responsibility for the seaweed sector is ongoing and is being considered in the context of the development of legislation that will modernise the regulatory framework for marine planning and development management in the Irish maritime area.