A new on-line regulatory toolbox for the aquaculture industry in England has gone live this month. The Centre for Fisheries, Environment and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) has developed this tool to support new start-up aquaculture businesses, through a single portal giving access to all the information required to set up a farm from scratch.
In developing the toolbox, Cefas has for the first time brought together widespread guidance on regulatory requirements for new aquaculture businesses in England, covering both existing sectors and those that are just emerging.
Cefas aquaculture development officer Keith Jeffery said:
“Factors such as concerns about food and nutritional security, a growing population and increasing demand for healthy products are all drivers in increasing production of farmed seafood. This project aims to simplify and streamline the start-up procedure for businesses in England, and is a useful step towards supporting the development of the aquaculture industry.”
Welcoming the toolbox, Andy Woolmer, Mumbles Oyster Company Ltd said:
“As oyster farm developers, this tool will be our first stop in a sometimes confusing consenting process. When we first developed our oyster farm we didn’t know who to talk to about the various consents. This toolbox would have saved a lot of time and ensured that we avoided delays later on.”
The project will be in two phases. Phase one provides a summary of emerging and existing aquaculture sectors, a quick-look guide and 13 sector specific PDFs that outline the main regulatory and environmental assessment requirements and provides the links and contacts required for each area.
Phase two will take place in 2016 and 2017 and will build on this work by providing clarification on other regulatory areas and processes.
The tool is hosted on the Seafish website and now sits beside other essential aquaculture advice and guidance, including grant availability, working groups, sites and species.