We provide scientific and technical advice to Government and industry on marine licensing for activities such as aquaculture, foreshore and offshore oil and gas. We also participate in technical working groups for implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the Water Framework Directive.
As part of the aquaculture licensing process, we provide scientific and technical advice to Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine (DAFM).
In compliance with the Birds & Habitats Regulations, we actively participate in the Appropriate Assessment of the impacts of aquaculture activities on Natura 2000 sites by preparing supporting reports and evaluating applications. We also input to the screening of applications to determine whether or not a supporting Environmental Impact Statement is required.
In addition, we provide objective scientific opinion on relevant environmental issues related to aquaculture licence applications as part of the statutory consultation process.
Dumping at sea
We advise the Port Companies on sampling and analysis for dumping at sea permit applications of dredged material and we assess sediment chemistry for the Environment Protection Agency (EPA - the permitting authority). We also provide expertise to the EPA’s Dumping at Sea Advisory Committee and advise port companies and consultants on pre- and post-operation monitoring, as required.
We contribute to the licensing process for foreshore activities through provision of advice to Department of Environment, Community and Local Government on environmental impacts that may arise from proposed developments on the foreshore. Our staff chair and participate in the Marine Licence Vetting Committee (MLVC), which provides technical/scientific advice on applications for Foreshore Leases and Licences. The MLVC also recommends appropriate conditions for the activities in the event of approval.
Offshore Chemicals and environment
As advisors to Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, we provide assessment of offshore chemicals for permits for use and discharge of added chemicals (PUDAC), in line with relevant OSPAR measures. We also advise operators on pre- and post-operation monitoring as well as general marine environment protection.
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