Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Marine & Fisheries Pat the Cope Gallagher has called on the public to make submissions to the review of the processes and procedures for issuing aquaculture licences.  The consultation process opened earlier this month, and is being headed up by a 3 person independent review group under the Chairpersonship of Mary Moylan.

Deputy Gallagher commented, “The Independent Review Group is presently inviting submissions from all stakeholders.  The Public Consultation was advertised in the Irish Independent on Tuesday 10 January 2017 and details of the Public Consultation and the Group’s terms of reference are hosted on the Fishingnet.ie website.

“This public consultation process will close on the 10 February 2017 therefore I am urging all interested parties to have their say and make their submissions in order to best determine the most appropriate framework and procedure for the future issuing of aquaculture licences . The objectives of the review group are to identify changes required to the aquaculture licence process and its associated legal framework that will deliver licence determinations in a timely manner, have regard to international best practice; and facilitate enhanced transparency in the licensing process for all stakeholders.

“The group will establish a framework which will command the confidence of both sectoral interest and broader community and clearly define the process by which aquaculture licences are decided and issued by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

“There is now an opportunity for the general public to express their views and have an input into the process.  The group will revert back to the Marine Minster within 4 months, and I would expect the new guidelines and procedures to come into effect shortly afterwards.  It is essential the general public are aware of the review and have their say by making the necessary submissions”, concluded Deputy Gallagher.