In most countries, a number of licenses or permits are required before an aquaculture system can be established in a specific location. The number and type of licenses will vary depending on the species, system and area. 

The Licensing process described here refers to the planning process and the general steps required to obtain planning permission and a permit to establish an aquaculture farm. The names and terminology may be different depending on the jurisdiction but content is relevant throughout Europe and can be adapted and applied to specific cases. It is important to remember that other permits or licences may also be required once a farm has been established.

Recommendations for decision making authorities

Some countries may not have a licensing system for aquaculture or may wish to revise their process. The first step should be a review of existing legislation to identify where licence applicaitons are delayed at present and what the bottlenecks are. This will allow authorities to identify bottlenecks and consider how the process may be streamlined. 

Recommendations for applicants (aquaculture producers)

Aquaculture producers should identify all licences they will require to establish their site. This includes planning permission and discharge consents as well as any other licences that may be specified by the regulators. It is recommended that producers contact the Aquaculture Liason Officer at the earliest opportunity to establish what the licences are, the approximate cost and a timeframe for setting up a site.