The consultants appointed to undertake the review were tasked with undertaking an objective review of the whole of the aquaculture consenting process; determining the concerns of the key actors in the consenting process; identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the process, examining the scope for improvement; and providing recommendations. In addition to desk-based research, the reviewers consulted extensively with regulators, consenting bodies, statutory consultees and representatives of the finfish and shellfish industries. The members of the Capacity Working Group also participated in the review.
The report provides an overview of the current aquaculture consenting process, notes the robust nature of the current planning and consenting regime, and makes 23 recommendations for change. Some of these could be implemented relatively quickly, while others would necessarily be longer-term.