Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture & Food Éamon Ó Cuív TD has expressed concern after it was revealed that there are 19 finfish farms operating without licences across the country.  The details were supplied in response to a Parliamentary Question from Deputy Ó Cuív.

The Galway based TD commented, “After 4 years in office, it is completely unacceptable that the Minister’s department has dealt with only two applications out of the 21 submitted since 2011.  During that period two trout licences have been renewed, however none of the applications for salmon licences have been granted.  This has led to a situation whereby licences which expired in 2011 and 2012 are still awaiting approval more than three years later, and there are now 19 finfish farms operating without licences.

“The indecision by Minister Simon Coveney and his Department is creating an uncertain situation for people applying for licences, as well as those who may want to object to these licences.  These delays raise questions about the efficiency and suitability of the licencing system as flaws with regard to the decision making process are already evident, and are impacting on individual fish farmers and the industry as a whole.

“The Minister’s record in this area is dismal and these delays are causing frustration and anger among fish farmers across the country.  The system must be revised, made more transparent and operated in a more timely manner and I am urging Minister Coveney to take charge of the situation and remedy these issues”.