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
My Department’s records indicate that applications were made for aquaculture licences by the person referred to by the Deputy for sites in Castlemaine Harbour and were considered by my Department. On 25th September 2018, following consideration of all aspects of the applications, it was determined that the applications could not be approved. These determinations were published by my Department in the normal way and subsequently ALAB notified my Department that appeals had been received in respect of these applications.
As ALAB is currently considering the 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.