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When setting up a new aquaculture farm, what assessment of environmental impacts are required for European and Ramsar marine conservation sites?

Even when a full Environmental Impact Assessment is not required (EIA), a Habitats Risk Assessments (HRA) is normally needed when a site falls within a European & Ramsar conservation site. Amendments to Regulation 100 contained within the Conservation of Habitats and Species (Amendment) Regulations 2011 mean that “marine works” (e.g. a new shellfish farm) now includes authorisations for Aquaculture Production Businesses (APBs).  Therefore, where a proposed shellfish farm will take place within an European Marine Site, the APB authorisation is now subject to the Habitats Regulations Assessment for plans or projects.  As such any shellfish farm application in an EMS is now required under Regulation 61 to undergo a Test of Likely Significant Effect (LSE) on the designated features.

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