Reform of aquaculture licensing is to continue to be the hot topic when the Irish Shellfish Association AGM is held on Thursday 19th May in Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone.
Aquaculture? The farming of aquatic plants and animals like salmon, oysters and seaweed for food. Farms exist all along the Irish coast and it’s a growing industry.
The current licensing system, widely viewed as a serious barrier to investment, has been in need of a comprehensive overhaul for some time. The aquaculture sector has long called for a more efficient and transparent licensing process to be put in place. With a new government now formed, hopes have been raised that implementation of the national strategic plan for the industry will begin and that this and other issues can finally be redressed.
Ireland’s aquaculture production is currently fifth highest in the European Union and the FAO predicts that Ireland could see a 61% increase in aquaculture production by 2030 – pushing us up to the second highest. An analysis of BIM production and employment survey data has shown that every additional 70 tonnes of finfish and shellfish produced generates one full-time equivalent job. With world seafood demand continuing to grow, Ireland is well placed to take advantage with increased production feeding the growing export market and providing sustainable employment.