Thursday, 5 May 1994
Dáil Éireann Debate
Minister for the Marine (Mr. Andrews): The policy objective with regard to the licensing of aquaculture operations is to ensure that development takes place in an orderly and well regulated manner, with full regard for other interests and in harmony with the environment while maximising the industry's contribution to the economy, in terms of jobs and revenue.
In line with this policy objective, the Department is devoting considerable resources to bringing all shellfish aquaculture operations in Bantry Bay under an effective licensing and monitoring regime.
While the existing salmon farming operation in Bantry Bay is fully licensed, a number of individual applications for licensing of scallop and mussel farming operations at specific sites in the bay are currently being considered under fisheries Acts and the Foreshore Act, 1933. These applications, which are at an advanced stage are being assessed by the Department from all relevant technical and scientific perspectives. A public consultative process, which includes advertisement of proposals in the local press, will form part of the licensing process. The procedure also involves consultation with Cork County Council who have jurisdiction over the bay from a planning perspective, and consultation with local fisheries interests, as well as other relevant statutory bodies such as Bord Failte and the Bantry Harbour Commissioners. It is the Department's intention to finalise these licensing applications as a priority.
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