A report was published today by the independent Aquaculture licence review committee, and the news was lauded by President of the IFA, Joe Healy. The review was set up under the FoodWise
2025 initiative by Minister Michael Creed. It was aimed to address serious flaws and any delays I the aquaculture licencing system managed by the department.
IFA President, Joe Healy has welcomed the publication today 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.
Mr. Healy says that after a campaign of over ten years that now many of the deficiencies costing millions in the industry will be addressed, he said, ‘IFA has been campaigning non-stop for a
fairer and faster licensing system for over 10 years and today’s 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.”
He called on Minister Creed to push for all the report’s recommendations to be put into action as soon as possible, adding that “Minister 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 process’.
The report has also been welcomed by the Irish Shellfish Associations chairman, Michael Mulloy.
Mulloy said that gaining a 20 year licence term is a massive achievement for the sector saying that it will lead to improvements in business management and planning in the industry, “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.
Irish Salmon Growers’ Association Chairman, Damien O’Keeffe said the report will lead to simplification of the problems facing the industry and will encourage further investment in the industry,
“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.”
The IFA president Joe Healy concluded by adding that urgent reform is still required in certain regions of the country in order to bring Irelands aquaculture industry on par with the rest of the
EU, before saying that any reforms should be acted upon straight away by Minister Creed and the department. He said, “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.”