A Higher Court docket challenge has been brought by a group symbolizing oyster fishermen above a decision to grant licences allowing the farmed fishing of oysters in Lough Swilly.
The action has been introduced by the Co Donegal dependent Lough Swilly Wild Oyster Society Ltd (LSWOS) whose customers have been engaged in the fishing of indigenous oysters in Lough Swilly for over 25 yrs. It fears the lack of right controls more than the farming of oysters in the Lough is an “environmental catastrophe”.
The team, represented in court docket by Peter Finlay SC, claims the licences, awarded by the Minister for Agriculture and upheld on enchantment by the Aquaculture Licence Appeals Board previous February, let the farmed fishing of a species in Lough Swilly recognised as Pacific Oysters.
LSWOS statements the farming of these overseas oysters is eroding the normal developing fishing grounds and are owning a harmful outcome on their skill to fish for native species.
They claim licences were provided to events to farm Pacific oysters that were being either abandoned or neglected. This resulted in a mass of untended pacific oysters that have spread out and taken in excess of the beds of the native oysters.
The Condition, it is claimed, has carried out nothing at all to handle the appropriate farming of oysters in the Lough, LSWOS statements.
The aquaculture and foreshores licences at the centre of the steps were being granted to Mr Alan O’Sullivan and the Lough Swilly Shellfish Growers Co-Operative Society Ltd.
LSWOS states it would make no criticism to make of the proposed licences and suggests that in basic principle it has no objections to the granting of effectively controlled licences to farm oysters in Lough Swilly.
Mr Finlay told the courtroom his clients declare the decisions to award the licences are flawed and should really be established aside, on many grounds including the appeals board refusal to grant his client an oral hearing just after LSWOS lodged its attractiveness versus the Minister’s choice in 2017 to grant the licences.
Counsel explained there was a deficiency of fairness in the method in the method which the appeals board adopted when considering his client’s charm.
Counsel extra that contrary to the EU Habitats Directive the appeals board also relied on info relating to the Lough Swilly that was some 6 many years out of day and did not just take into account the proliferation of the Pacific Oyster in the Lough.
In judicial review proceedings, the LSWOS seeks several orders and declarations such as an get quashing the choices of the Minister for Agriculture, Foodstuff and Maritime, as perfectly as the final decision by the Aquaculture Licence Appeals Board confirming the Minister’s determination.
They also find a declaration that the selection to grant the licences is in breach of normal and constitutional justice, damages and for a continue to be to be put on the licences.
Both equally Mr O’Sullivan and the Lough Swilly Shellfish Growers Co-Operative Society Ltd are notice parties to the motion.
Authorization to deliver the obstacle was granted on an ex parte basis, by Mr Justice Seamus Noonan.
It will occur back to court docket in July.