Reform the aquaculture licensing system

 

Sir, – Reform of the current aquaculture licensing system has been sought by IFA Aquaculture (which includes salmon farmers) for many years. In 2017, an Independent Aquaculture Licensing Review concluded that the aquaculture licensing system was in “urgent need of reform”.

Some 30 recommendations were included but to date none of these has been achieved, which is very frustrating for salmon farmers and the wider aquaculture industry.

The draft National Marine Planning Framework, currently undergoing public consultation, would establish an integrated system with identifiable forward planning, development management and enforcement elements.

It is widely viewed as a reformative step for all sectors operating in the marine space.

Incredibly, the legislative framework that will underpin the marine planning system does not include the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine and thus the proposed legislation will not apply to the aquaculture sector. The IFA has looked for this to be rectified countless times, but the requests have fallen on deaf ears.

Regulatory change is badly needed and our members are crying out for it, yet the Department of Agriculture continues to sit on its hands and ignore a sector which provides much-needed employment in rural, coastal and island communities. – Yours, etc,

JOE HEALY,

President,

IFA,

Irish Farm Centre,

Naas Road, Dublin 12.