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Independent Aquaculture Licensing Review, 2017

Report of the Independent Aquaculture Licensing Review Group.

The Independent Aquaculture Licensing Review Group submitted Review of the Aquaculture Licensing Process (pdf 4,927Kb) ’ to Minister Michael Creed on the 31st May 2017, for his consideration.

The Public Consultation is now closed.

The Independent Aquaculture Licensing Review Group would like to thank everyone who participated in the public consultation.

The Group received 385 submissions, which informed the review.

A list of all submissions received and the submission themselves are published below.

List of submissions received:



The Terms of Reference for the Review may be viewed below.

Enquiries to Deirdre Morgan at 023-8859573 or or

Independent Review of Aquaculture Licensing
C/O Deirdre Morgan – Secretary to the Independent Review Group
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
National Seafood Centre,
Clonakilty, Co. Cork.
P85 TX47

This Review is co-funded by the Exchequer and the EU under the EMFF Operational Programme.

Added 23.12.16Added 23.12.16


All submissions are subject to the Freedom of Information Acts and/or the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations and may also be published on the Department’s website (excluding contact details). If any of the detail you are providing is sensitive on the basis that it is personal, confidential, or commercially confidential, please identify it within your submission and give clear reasons why you think it should not be released. The Department will, where possible, consult with you about any information which you have identified as sensitive information before making a decision in response to a request for release under the Freedom of Information Acts.


Review of Aquaculture Licensing Process

– Terms of Reference –

Independent Review Group

The Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine appoints an independent three-person review group to conduct an independent review of the aquaculturelicence process and associated legal framework, in line with the objectives described below.  The Independent Review Group includes a Chair and two members and administrative support is provided by the Department.

Government Policy

Food Wise 2025 includes an action to “Commission an independent review of the existing aquaculture licensing system involving all key stakeholders, to identify the current shortcomings and bottlenecks (legislative, resource and logistical), to report by early 2016 and implement necessary changes to the aquaculture licensing system as a matter of priority”, while Ireland’s first National Strategic Plan for Sustainable Aquaculture Development proposes 24 actions to drive the sustainable development of the aquaculture sector.  One of the actions proposed in the Plan is a “review and revision of the aquaculture licence process, including the applicable legal framework”.

Objectives of the Review

Having regard to Government policy, the Independent Review Group will aim toidentify changes required to the aquaculture licence process and its associated legal framework that will:

  1. Deliver licence determinations in a timely manner, having regard to international best practice and applicable EU and national law.
  2. Support achievement of the actions and priorities of Food Wise 2025 and the National Strategic Plan for Sustainable Aquaculture Development;
  3. Facilitate enhanced transparency in the licensing process for all stakeholders;
  4. Ensure legally robust licence determinations having regard to EU and national law.


Scope of the Review

The review will encompass the aquaculture licensing process from pre-application stage to the determination of a licence.  It will encompass all applications for a licence under existing legislation, including an aquaculture licence, a trial licence, review of a licence or renewal of a licence.  The Independent Review Group will consult with stakeholders and take their views into account in formulating its final report.

Duration of the Review

The Independent Review Group will report to the Minister within 4 months with a concise report containing recommended actions.


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