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The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) has slammed delays in issuing fish farm licenses, saying it has so far cost an estimated EUR 60 million (USD 82.7 million) in investment over the last five years alone.

In a report to Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney, the IFA called on the Government to actively support the Food Harvest 2020 aims to increase aquaculture output, starting with a reduction in the number of competing agencies and officials holding back the sector.

Currently there are a total of six state agencies, nine statutory consultees, four Government departments and an appeals board that collectively maintain the applications process. The IFA report says some 600 applications have been caught up in this system for upwards of seven years.

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