President welcomes Independent Aquaculture Licence Review
Minister Creed Must set out clear implementation strategy
President, Joe Healy has welcomed the publication today (Wednesday)
of the report of the Independent Aquaculture Licence Review Committee
(IALRC) which was set up under FoodWise 2025 by Minister Creed to
address the serious delays and flaws in the aquaculture licencing
system managed by his Department.
Healy said, On behalf of our salmon and shellfish farming
members around the coast IFA has been campaigning non-stop for a
fairer and faster licensing system for over 10 years and todays
report is a significant and serious blueprint for the survival and
development of a key food sector in the rural economy. It particularly
addresses many of the deficiencies and delays in licensing which
has cost the industry millions of euro and hundreds of jobs.
Creed and his department must implement all of the recommendations
of the report as soon as possible and publish immediately an implementation
strategy which, as the report concludes, will assign responsibility
for recommendations, accountability and set milestones for delivery
and identify the necessary resources to support the implementation
Shellfish Association Chairman, Michael Mulloy, welcoming the report,
said that the achievement of a 20 year licence term was hugely significant
for the sector This will allow for proper business management
and succession planning in the industry. As well the pre-assessment
procedure, we welcome more transparency in public consultation and
the emphasis on seeking managerial and financial assurance in advance
of new licences being granted as well as proof of activity on all
existing licensed sites to allow for streamlined commercial use.
Salmon Growers Association Chairman, Damien OKeeffe
said The report contains many welcome proposals for simplification
and increased transparency and customer service, for both land based
and marine finfish farming. The ability to implement best technology
and environmental practice without expensive reviews is crucial
to encourage investment and a high quality industry. The 20 year
licence proposal is a huge step and a major achievement for industry
stability and planning.
President, Joe Healy said that the Association acknowledged the
rationale behind the reports overarching conclusion that a
root-and-branch reform of the aquaculture licence application processes
is necessary. The reform needs to be comprehensive in scope and
focus both on immediate actions which can produce results in the
short term as well as initiatives which will bear fruit in the longer
Healy concluded, Urgent reform in a number of areas is required
to bring our licensing process into line with modern, professional
and responsive permitting services at work throughout the industry
worldwide and in many similarly complex areas at national level.
If legislation is necessary it should be carefully considered but
in the meantime the non-legislative issues should be dealt with
by Minister Creed and his staff and agencies without delay.
full report of the IALRC is available here: http://www.fishingnet.ie/media/fishingnet/content/ReviewoftheAquacultureLicensingProcess310517.pdf