Aquaculture (Fish Farming)
Aquaculture licensing is administered through the Aquaculture and Foreshore Management Division of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The Division also processes companion foreshore licences required for coastal aquaculture operations. The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine decides on applications made to the Division on the approved application form and accompanied by the appropriate fees.
Under Section 6 of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act, 1997 (as amended), it is illegal to engage in aquaculture without an appropriate Aquaculture Licence. Aquaculture includes the culture or farming of fish, aquatic invertebrates, aquatic plants or any aquatic form of food suitable for the nutrition of fish. Land-based aquaculture may also require planning permission and a discharge permit from the local authority.
The Aquaculture Licensing Section of the Aquaculture & Foreshore Management Division co-ordinates the administration of licences for:
- Marine finfish: e.g. salmon, rainbow trout, cod
- Land-based finfish: e.g. turbot, perch, salmon hatcheries
- Shellfish: e.g. oysters, mussels, scallops, clams, abalone, sea urchin.
- Cultivation of aquatic plants e.g. seaweed
Other procedures and formalities required to engage in aquaculture in Ireland involve: land based aquaculture may require planning permission and a discharge permit from the local authority.
An application form for an aquaculture licence can be downloaded here or received from the Aquaculture Licensing Section, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, National Seafood Centre, Clonakilty, Co. Cork; Tel: 1890 25 27 41.
From September 2015 once an application goes to Public Notice the relevant documentation will be available on the website for information here.
An appeal against the decision of the Minister, to grant/refuse an Aquaculture Licence application, may be made in writing within one month of the date of publication of the decision in one or more newspapers circulating in the area to which the decision relates. Details of the appeal should be sent to the Aquaculture Licences Appeals Board (ALAB), Kilminchy Court, Portlaoise, Co. Laois, by completing the Notice of Appeal Application Form available from the Board. Contact details for ALAB are as follows: phone 057 8631912, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or on their website at www.alab.ie .
A person may question the validity of the Foreshore Licence determination by way of an application for judicial review, under Order 84 of the Rules of the Superior Court (SI No. 15 of 1986). Practical information on the review mechanism can be obtained from Citizens Information.
Foreshore Co-Ordination Unit, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, National Seafood Centre, Clonakilty, Co. Cork.
+353 (0) 23 88 59500
Aquaculture Licensing Section, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, National Seafood Centre, Clonakilty, Co. Cork
+353 (0) 23 88 59500
The above is for general information purposes only: please contact the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, National Seafood Centre for more more information.
Last updated: 30th June 2021