Thursday, 12 May 2022
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
357. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will ensure that all applications under the current aquaculture licensing system undergoing statutory consultation are subject to fair and due process throughout the process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23903/22]
The Department considers all applications for aquaculture licences in accordance with the provisions of the 1997 Fisheries (Amendment) Act, the 1933 Foreshore Act and applicable national and EU legislation. The licensing process involves consultation with a wide range of scientific and technical advisors as well as various Statutory Consultees. The legislation also provides for a period of public consultation.
The views of all Statutory Consultees, together with the views of the public submitted as part of the public consultation process, are taken fully into account in arriving at a determination in respect of an aquaculture licence application. Decisions in respect of aquaculture licence applications are only taken following the comprehensive consideration of all scientific, legislative, technical and public interest elements of each application. The licence application process is designed to strike a balance between the rights and obligations of all parties including the applicant(s), Statutory Consultees, relevant NGOs and the general public. I am satisfied that the current licensing system meets all of these requirements.