#Fishing - Fishermen wishing to apply for oyster dredge licences for the 2018 season must submit a completed official form to the relevant River Basin District Office before noon on Friday 24 November.
This process became necessary due to the fact that there are many Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Natura 2000 sites in Ireland that also contain oyster fisheries.
As the exploitation of these fisheries will require dredging, appropriate assessment of these fishing activities will have to be undertaken.
In the absence of appropriate assessments, against predetermined conservation objectives, it is necessary to ensure that no intensification of the fishing activity for oysters be permitted.
This has been further strengthened by the issuing of a direction from the minister in accordance with Section 278 (5)(a) of the Fisheries (Consolidation) Act 1959 as amended and the Habitats Directive as transposed by European Commission (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 (SI 477/ 2011).
As yet, no appropriate assessment of the potential impact of the wild oyster fishery has been completed for most locations within SACs and, in the absence of the necessary advice, Inland Fisheries Ireland must ensure that no intensification of the oyster fishery takes place.
As a consequence, IFI must continue to limit the number of licences that can be issued for 2017.
The official procedure and application form are available for download at the IFI website HERE.
Applicants must complete the application form in full and ensure that any relevant information that will assist IFI in assessing their application is submitted with the application.
The relevant licence fee for 2018 is €89 and this must also accompany the application. Unsuccessful applicants will have their fee refunded in full. Further information on the process is available with the application form.
Application forms are also available from Inland Fisheries Ireland, Teach Breac, Earl’s Island, Galway, H91 K6D2 (Tel 091 563118), from any Inland Fisheries Ireland District Office, or from Inland Fisheries Ireland head office, 3044 Lake Drive, Citywest Business Campus, Dublin 24, D24 Y265.