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12. Sea Fisheries

DEVELOPMENT OF THE IRISH SEA FISH AND AQUACULTURE INDUSTRIES

BORD IASCAIGH MHARA (BIM)

BIM is the State agency with responsibility for developing the Irish sea fishing and aquaculture industries (excluding aquaculture industries in the Gaeltacht areas).

The programmes to pursue this mission are determined by the Board of BIM and are set out within the framework of Ministerial policy outlined in the National Development Plan 2007-2013 (NDP), EU policies and available resources.

A primary objective of BIM policy is to expand the volume, quality and value of output from the fisheries and aquaculture sectors. BIM's approach is to focus on the opportunities for growth in these sectors while seeking to alleviate constraints that impede development.

BIM provides a range of services including advisory, financial, technical and training supports to all sectors of the Irish seafood industry. The three development divisions of BIM deliver these services through a number of integrated programmes. The programmes are funded from the Exchequer, the European Commission and charges for services.

EU Co-Funded Schemes supported by BIM under the European Fisheries Fund (EFF). The co-funded schemes form part of the co-funded Seafood Development Operational Programme 2007-2013 and include the following:

  • Fleet Decommissioning;
  • Seafood Environmental Management and Certification Scheme;
  • Lobster V-Notching, Shellfish Discard and Live Return Reduction;
  • Marine Environment Protection Measure.

National Exchequer funded schemes supported by BIM at present include the following:

  • Fleet Safety Scheme.

For further details contact: B.I.M., P.O. Box 12, Crofton Road, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin. Tel: 01 2144100, Email: info@bim.ie

ÚDARÁS NA GAELTACTHA

Údarás na Gaeltachta is the regional authority responsible for the economic, social and cultural development of the Gaeltacht. Údarás encourages investment in the Gaeltacht through a range of generous incentives for new enterprises and through support and assistance for existing businesses.

Údarás is an implementing agency for the development of aquaculture projects in the Gaeltacht areas and works closely with BIM and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in ensuring the smooth implementation and management of projects that are funded by NDP/EU funds.

For further details contact: Údarás na Gaeltachta, Na Forbacha, Co. na Gaillimhe. Tel: 091-503100; Fax: 091-503101; Email: eolas@udaras.ie

REGULATION OF THE IRISH SEA FISH AND AQUACULTURE INDUSTRIES

LICENSING OF SEA FISHING BOATS

The legislation governing sea-fishing boat licensing is set out in Section 4 of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act 2003 (the "2003 Act), (as inserted by Section 97 of the Sea-Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2006). An Irish sea-fishing boat must be entered in the Fishing Boat Register before it is licensed to engage in commercial sea-fishing activities.

REGISTRATION OF SEA FISHING BOATS

In accordance with Section 3 of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act 2003 (No. 21 of 2003), the function of sea-fishing boat licensing was transferred to the Licensing Authority for Sea-fishing Boats with effect from 1 July 2003. As specified in that Act, the Licensing Authority is the Registrar General of Fishing Boats, or, under the superintendence of the Registrar General, the Deputy Registrar General of Fishing Boats.

The legislation governing sea-fishing boat registration is set out in Sections 74 to 80 and Section 100 of the Sea-Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2006, and the Merchant Shipping (Registry, Lettering and Numbering of Fishing Boats) Regulations 2005 (S.I. No. 261 of 2005). This legislation charges the Registrar General with the maintenance of the Register of Fishing Boats ("Register") and the proper management of the capacity of Irish sea-fishing boats.

For further details contact the Licensing Authority for Sea-Fishing Boats, Clogheen, Clonakilty, Co Cork. Tel: 1890 252741, or email: fleetregister@agriculture.gov.ie  

AQUACULTURE LICENCES

Under Section 6 of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act, 1997 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.

Aquaculture licensing is administered through the Aquaculture and Foreshore Management Division of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food; the Division also processes companion foreshore licences required for coastal aquaculture operations. The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food decides on applications made to the Division on the approved application form and accompanied by the appropriate fees. Any person who engages in aquaculture without a licence or who breaches the terms of a licence may be prosecuted through the Courts. Penalties can be severe and in addition to any fine imposed by the Court, the Minister may, by Order, also require the person convicted to remove any structures and/or equipment.

An application form for an aquaculture licence can be received from the Aquaculture Licensing Section, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Clogheen, Clonakilty, Co. Cork; Tel: 1890 25 27 41.

AQUACULTURE LICENCE APPEALS PROCEDURES

The Appeals procedure for aquaculture licensing is handled by the independent Aquaculture Licences Appeals Board, established on 17 June 1998 under Section 22 of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act, 1997. All Board members are engaged on a part-time basis. Customers, the public or environmental organisations aggrieved by a decision of the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on an aquaculture licence application, or by the revocation or amendment of an aquaculture licence, may make an appeal within one month of publication (in the case of a decision) or notification (in the case of revocation/amendment).

All appeals must be made in writing on the appeals application form, setting out the grounds of appeal and addressed to: The Aquaculture Licences Appeals Board, Holbrook House, Holles St., Dublin 2. Tel: (01) 662 0331, email: info@alab.ie

FORESHORE LICENCES AND LEASES

The foreshore is classed as the land and seabed between the high water of ordinary or medium tides (shown HWM on Ordnance Survey maps) and the twelve mile limit (12 nautical miles equals approximately 22.24 kilometres).

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food is responsible for foreshore licensing in respect of projects primarily or wholly related to aquaculture, or sea fishing. All foreshore licensing within the designated Fishery Harbour Centres is also the responsibility of the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

Applications for foreshore leases/licences in respect of projects other than those relating to aquaculture, sea fishing and developments with the Fishery Harbour Centres are the responsibility of the Minister for Environment, Heritage and Local Government.

Applications for foreshore leases or licences are administered through the Aquaculture and Foreshore Management Division of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food decides on applications made to the Division on the approved application form. Any person who places a structure in the foreshore without a lease or carries out an activity without a licence or who breaches the terms of a lease/licence may be prosecuted through the Courts. Penalties can be severe and in addition to any fine imposed by the Court, the Minister may, by Order, also require the person convicted to remove any structures and/or equipment.

An application form for a foreshore lease or licence can be received from the Foreshore Co-ordination Unit, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Clogheen, Clonakilty, Co. Cork; Tel: 1890 25 27 41.