Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney denied that he is compromised as a decision maker in relation to a proposed €60 million fish farm for Galway Bay.
The proposed fish farm involves two sites north of the Aran Island of Inis Oírr and if built would be one of the biggest fish farms in Europe.
Fianna Fáil’s Eamon Ó Cuív said the minister supported the project in the past, and that the application for a licence should be withdrawn by BIM for this reason.
Minister Coveney, however, said that while he was in favour of deep sea aqualculture, that he was very careful with this application because it did not specifically pinpoint "any one project or any one location".
He said he was legally obliged to make a decision regarding the licence application by BIM and he would do that based on scientific advice and by weighing up the concerns and support expressed.
The minister would not say when he would make a decision.