Addressing the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture yesterday, a delegation from IFA Aquaculture highlighted the issue of input costs and licensing issues.
Earlier this year the European Commission activated a crisis mechanism of the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF), to enable Member States to grant financial compensation to aquaculture operators for income foregone and additional costs due to the current market disruption.
IFA Aquaculture is calling on the Government to consider these funding mechanisms made available by the European Commission to assist aquaculture operators affected by these severe cost increases – this must be done without delay.
“It’s critical that a single piece of legislation is brought forward to implement and underpin appropriate aquaculture policy and bring together all the existing primary, secondary and amended legislation in one single provision,” he said.
To achieve the objectives and specific actions outlined in the Seafood Development Programme 2021-2027, the National Strategic Plan for Sustainable Aquaculture and the Seafood Taskforce Report are to be most effective for the sustainable development of the aquaculture industry, there must be an immediate effort made to reform, modernise, and improve the aquaculture licensing system.
“Reducing the administrative burden and having an efficient, transparent aquaculture licensing system is of benefit to regulators, the industry and aquaculture stakeholders alike,” he said.