A local group and elected representatives are calling on the public to have their say on future oyster farm developments as part of an independent review into the Department of the Marine aquaculture licensing process.
Coiste Timpeallachta an Ghaoith, the Channel Environmental Group, has also applied for a public hearing on licenses granted for oyster farms in Gweedore Bay that they say would cover 99 acres.
Aodh Mac Ruairí, a coiste spokesperson, said the group wants people to make submissions for the independent review of the licensing process. He said the main concern for the coiste is the method in which licenses were granted without what they said was proper public consultation.
The review has invited interested parties to make a formal submission before the deadline closes tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 10th.
Cllr. Marie Therese Gallagher and Joe McHugh, TD and minister of state, are also urging the public to make submissions.
Cllr. Gallagher said most people are not against aquaculture, nor do they reject the important role marine-based activities can play in a local economy. “However they are opposed to developments on our beaches and strands which may be poorly planned or are disproportionate to the local area in terms of both their size and scale,” she said.
Thomas Pringle, independent TD, also raised concerns in relation to the volume of aquaculture licenses granted by the department for Braade Strand/Gweedore Bay, saying, “the large number has raised concerns locally due to the scale and the possible restriction of the beach to the local community as a result”.
Submissions to the review of the licensing process may be emailed to aquaculturereview@agriculture .gov.ie with subject heading ‘Aquaculture Comsultation’; or posted to: Independent Review of Aquaculture Licensing c/o Deirdre Morgan – Secretary to the Independent Review Group, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, National Seafood Centre, Clonakilty, Co. Cork, P85 TX47.