Aquaculture and Foreshore Management

Please note: The information provided below is a limited selection of the information available relating to this topic. You can find more information, publications and forms relating to this area on the main Department website here.

The Aquaculture & Foreshore Management Division ensures the efficient and effective management of Aquaculture licensing and Foreshore licensing in respect of Aquaculture and Sea Fishery related activities.

The Strategic Objectives of the Aquaculture & Foreshore Management Division are:

Aquaculture Licensing

Under Section 6 of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act, 1997 (as amended), 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, Food and the Marine. The Division also processes companion foreshore licences required for coastal aquaculture operations. The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine 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.  

Further information about Aquaculture Licensing is available on our main website here.

Foreshore Administration

The Foreshore Acts 1933 - 2011 require that a lease or licence must be obtained from the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine for works undertaken on the foreshore which are deemed to be:

(i) an activity which is wholly or primarily for the use, development or support of aquaculture, or

(ii) an activity which is 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.

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).

Further information about Foreshore Administration is available on our main website here.