Licences and registrations for fish and shellfish farms
What you must do
In Northern Ireland, you must hold a fish culture licence from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD).
In Scotland, you must register with the Marine Scotland within two months of stocking your farm and commencing business.
You must have a seabed lease from the owner of the seabed, normally the Crown Estate, if you operate a:
- marine cage fish farm
- shellfish farm with physical structures on the seabed, for example bottom cultivation of bivalves.
You must comply with the Scottish Government's measures to prevent the escape of farmed fish.
The code of practice has been published by the Scottish Government. It gives details of measures that are expected of fish farms to prevent the escape of fish. It contains both guidance and mandatory standards.
Read the full text of the Code of Practice:
In Shetland and parts of Orkney in addition to a seabed lease, you also must have a Marine Works Licence from the islands councils. In Shetland, the North Atlantic Fisheries College now processes applications for Marine Works Licences.
In Scotland you can apply for a Several Order. This order will give you an exclusive right to deposit, propagate, dredge, fish for and take shellfish within the limits of your fishery. The order will relate to named species of shellfish and will be granted for a set period. When you apply for the order, you must submit a detailed management plan.
In Scotland a 'responsible organisation' can apply for a Regulating Order to manage and conserve a wild shellfishery. The organisation can then use licences to control the number of people who may fish there and regulate the fishing effort they make.
In Northern Ireland you can apply for a Shell Fishery Licence. This licence gives you an exclusive right to deposit, propagate, dredge, fish for, and take shellfish within a certain area. The licence will relate to named species of shellfish and will be granted for a set period.
In this guide