Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Thursday, 11 July 2013
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Bord Iascaigh Mhara Annual Report 2011: Discussion
Mr. Whooley spoke about the new approach to the farmed salmon project and the identification of the location. Are there other potential locations or is BIM fixing on that one to see how it works? Is it a pilot scheme, or how does BIM describe it? What are the prospects for other locations that might arise? Does BIM have others in mind for after this one kicks off? On the commercial investor, is there somebody in particular? What are the rules and regulations surrounding that investor? Is it a Europe-wide investor or an Irish investor, or does it matter? Mr. Whooley spoke about the future being niche as opposed to commodity. Could he expand on that? We know what it means, but what does it actually mean here? Does Mr. Whooley believe the fishing industry will change its profile in the next five to ten years? I understand what it means in English but I do not know what he means by it. Those are expressions we very often throw around but I am asking him to pinpoint that.
On BIM's relationship with the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, I have a case on my desk of somebody applying for a foreshore licence to harvest seaweed. The notification letter went in to the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government six months ago and there has been no reply, despite constant requests for a response, whatever that might be. When BIM makes a presentation it tells us about the good things, and that is as it should be, in a way. Reality is often different. BIM does not want to come in here and give us a list of all the issues causing problems but sometimes we need a reality check. That is the kind of reality check we get. People are out there trying to do what BIM wants them to do, recognising a market. This person is waiting to go ahead and there has been no response from the Department. BIM is not the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, but the application was submitted from its offices and has been sitting somewhere for six months. I would like a response to that. Perhaps one of the witnesses could take it up with me. I am not putting the person's details on the record here. I am sure he or she is not the only one. My experience is that usually if there is one there are more.