Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM)

BIM is the state agency with primary responsibility for the sustainable development of the Irish seafish and aquaculture industry both at sea and ashore, and the diversification of the coastal economy so as to enhance the employment, income and welfare of people in coastal regions and their contribution to the national economy.
BIM provides a wide range of financial, technical, educational, marketing, resource development and ice supply services for the production sector through to the processing and marketing sectors.

BIM is the State Agency responsible for developing the Irish Seafood Industry including the catching, aquaculture and processing sectors as well as providing training to the sector. The development initiatives and schemes to address this responsibility are set out in the context of national and EU policy for the sector and are drawn up having regard to the Common Fisheries Policy and the new European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. The programmes are all contained in the Seafood Development Programme 2014 – 2020.

The key objective is to grow the seafood sector in an environmentally sustainable manner, so that it will add more value to a natural raw material supply and produce much needed jobs that will in turn sustain communities in the peripheral, coastal regions of Ireland. Government strategies including Food Wise 2025 and Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth recognize the opportunities for the seafood sector to build scale and expand value, exports and jobs.

BIM supports the seafood sector with a range of supports, services and expertise. These supports are available to the fishing fleet, aquaculture enterprises, seafood processing enterprises and to coastal communities through Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs).

Údarás Na Gaeltachta

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, Food and the Marine in ensuring the smooth implementation and management of projects that are funded by NDP/EU funds.

Regulation of Irish Sea Fish

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.

Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA)
The Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) was established on the 1 January 2007. It is responsible for the implementation and enforcement of national and EU Regulations on Sea Fisheries Protection and Seafood Safety. Sea Fisheries Officers work closely with other Government agencies such as the Naval Service, Food Safety Authority of Ireland and the Marine Institute, in the implementation of fisheries control and seafood safety programmes.

Marine Institute

The Marine Institute is responsible for marine research delivery and is the implementing body for the Marine Research Programme. The objective of the Marine Research Programme is to provide funding to the marine sector in Ireland that will:
• Build new research capacity and capability;
• Enable sharing of existing knowledge and technology transfer;
• Increase competiveness and opportunities for sustainable economic growth;
• Protect and conserve marine resources;
• Inform public policy;
• Increase public awareness of our maritime heritage.

The Marine Institute are currently finalising the Marine Research and Innovation Agenda for Ireland 2014-2020 (and associated Action Plan) that will set the sectoral priorities for marine research for the next funding cycle until 2020. The action plan will contribute towards the research and innovation component of Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth – An Integrated Marine Plan for Ireland and continue to build on the investment under Sea Change 2007-2013, which aims to ensure that Ireland fully maximises the economic, social and environmental contribution of its marine resources.

Aquaculture Licenses

Aquaculture includes the culture or farming of fish, aquatic invertebrates, aquatic plants or any aquatic form of food suitable for the nutrition of fish. Applications for aquaculture licences are assessed under the provisions of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act, 1997. In addition, marine-based aquaculture also requires an accompanying foreshore licence (under the Foreshore Act 1933). Land-based aquaculture may also require planning
permission and a discharge permit from the Local Authority. 13

Aquaculture licensing is administered through the Aquaculture and Foreshore Management Division of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine determines aquaculture 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 it is illegal to engage in aquaculture without an appropriate aquaculture licence.

Aquaculture Licence Appeals Procedures

The Appeals procedure for aquaculture licensing is handled by the independent Aquaculture Licences Appeals Board, established on 16 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, Food and the Marine 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, Kilminchy Court, Dublin Road, Portlaoise, Co.Laois, R32 DTW5.

Foreshore Licenses 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, Food and the Marine is responsible for foreshore licensing in respect of activities which are:

• Wholly or primarily for the use, development or support of aquaculture, or
• Wholly or primarily for the use, development or support of sea-fishing, including the processing and sale of sea-fish and manufacture of products derived from sea-fish, or
• In relation to a Fishery Harbour Centre.

Applications for foreshore leases/licences in respect of activities other than those listed above are the responsibility of the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government. Applications for foreshore leases or licences are administered through the Aquaculture and Foreshore Management Division of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine 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.


Important Notice! This website is provided for informational purposes only! It is a fundamental condition of the use of this website that no liability is accepted for any loss or damage caused by reason of any error, omission, or misstatement in its contents. 

Draft Articles; The articles on this website are in draft form and are subject to further review for typographical errors and, in some cases, updating and correction. It is intended to include references to the sources of materials and acknowledgements in the final version. The content of articles with [EU] in the title and some of the articles in the section on Agriculture are a reproduction of or are based on European or Irish public sector information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *