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Foreshore Administration

The Foreshore Acts 1933 - 2011 require that a lease or licence must be obtained from the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine for works undertaken on the foreshore which are deemed to be:

  • any function in relation to a fishery harbour centre,
  • any function in respect of—

(i) an activity which is wholly or primarily for the use, development or support of aquaculture, or

(ii) an activity which is wholly or primarily for the use, development or support of sea-fishing including the processing and sale of sea-fish and manufacture of products derived from sea-fish.

The foreshore is classed as the land and seabed between the high water of ordinary or medium tides (shown HWM on Ordnance Survey maps) and the twelve mile limit (12 nautical miles equals approximately 22.24 kilometres).

The Foreshore Acts 1933 to 2011 include the following:

  • Foreshore Act 1933
  • Foreshore (Amendment) Act, 1992.
  • Section 5 of the Fisheries and Foreshore (Amendment) Act, 1998
  • Fisheries (Amendment) Act, 2003 (Part 5)
  • Maritime Safety Act, 2005 No. 11 (Part 6)
  • Foyle and Carlingford Fisheries Act, 2007
  • Foreshore and Dumping at Sea (Amendment) Act, 2009
  • Foreshore (Amendment) Act  2011

Certain developments on State-owned foreshore are subject to the European Communities (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations, 1989 to 1999, requiring the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement which must be provided to the consultative organisations specified in the European Communities (Foreshore) Regulations 2009 (SI No. 404 of 2009).

All of these Acts are available at

For further information please see the Foreshore Application Form and Guidelines (doc 169Kb) 

Please read the appropriate guidelines prior to making an application for a foreshore lease / licence to the Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

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