Council Regulation (EC) No 708/2007, concerning the use of alien and locally absent species in aquaculture was implemented in Northern Ireland by The Alien and Locally Absent Species in Aquaculture Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012, as amended (2020). The main purpose of these Regulations is to ensure there is adequate protection of aquatic habitats from the risks associated with the use of alien and locally absent species in aquaculture, whilst contributing to the sustainable development of the aquaculture industry. While facilitating beneficial introductions, proposed introductions of alien species and locally absent species into Northern Ireland are assessed, using a risk-based approach, in order to prevent interaction with indigenous species and damage to native ecosystems.
The Regulations, which came into operation on 15 October 2012, provide for a system of permits governing the use of alien and locally absent species in aquaculture to minimise the possible impact of these and any associated non-target species on aquatic habitats and thus contribute to the sustainable development of the sector. The intention is that such permits will be granted only if the risk associated with the activities can be considered low, or the risk can be reduced to a low level by mitigating action on the part of the applicant. The Regulations allow the Department to provide for exemptions from the permit requirement in certain circumstances.
Aquaculture operators intending to undertake the introduction of an alien species or the translocation of a locally absent species into Northern Ireland for their use in aquaculture must contact the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
Apply in writing or seek further guidance by e-mailing Fish.email@example.com
A record of applications received and permits granted
In accordance with the provisions of Article 4 of Commission Regulation (EC) No 535/2008, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has introduced an information system containing:
- a record of applications received - alien and locally absent species in Northern Ireland, which can be found here
- a summary of permits - alien and locally absent species in Northern Ireland, which can be found here