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Aquaculture is the growing and harvesting of fish, shellfish, molluscs, plants, algae and other organisms. This farming takes place under controlled conditions in either fresh or saltwater.

The Romans are credited with introducing oyster farming around 2,000 years ago. In more recent years, Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough have become closely associated with shellfish aquaculture. Nowadays, this growing sector of the economy includes farming Pacific oysters and blue mussels.

There are several freshwater finfish units in the Foyle and Carlingford catchments. They are regulated and licensed by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland and the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine in Ireland.


Following the Government’s advice in relation to COVID-19, Loughs Agency has put in place a number of measures to maximise our capacity to continue to deliver our services as best we can.