An eight-week public consultation period concerning an application to develop a deep sea salmon farm licence by Bord Iascaigh Mhara is under way.

The agency is seeking a licence to develop the farm in Galway Bay, 1.7km from the Aran Islands.

If licensed, it will produce 15,000 tonnes of organic-certified salmon per annum and create 350 jobs and 150 in supporting industry.

BIM plans to lease out the operation of the farm to commercial salmon producers.

The farm will occupy an area of 456 hectares over two adjoining sites and is the first of three that BIM hopes to develop.

Extensive consultation with local people has already taken place, as well as environmental impact studies.