The completed Environmental Statement, produced at the end of the EIA process, will go out to statutory and non-statutory consultees and the general public. The licensing authority will consider the views of these stakeholders when making a decision on a license application. Prior discussion and consultation with stakeholders, and where possible, addressing their concerns, can preempt challenges arising at this stage. Consultations are conducted over a fixed time period, which varies by country.

Recommendations for decision making authorities

Each jurisdiction will have statutory consultees that must be consulted as part of a licence application. There will also be non-statutory consultees, and in the case of an environmental impact assessment, there will need to be a public consultation. Due to the number of organisations involved, the consultation stage can be a potential bottleneck for applications.

Authorities should establish a clear timeline that gives sufficient time for consultees to consider the application and does not delay the overall process. The Aquaculture Liasion Officer should monitor the process and ensure that responses to the consultation are collected in an appropriate time-frame and both the applicant and the decision makers are kept updated with progress.

Recommendations for applicants (aquaculture producers)

To facilitate the consultation process, potential applicants should provide as much information as necessary in a clear and appropriate manner. Graphics, illustrations and maps are a useful way of presenting information and the necessary context should be provided to support interpretation by the range of individuals that may be in a community.