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The Cross-Border Aquaculture Initiative EEIG (CBAIT) was formed in 1998. It is a European Economic Interest Grouping, established as a joint venture between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. An Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) and Northern Ireland Seafood (NIS) act as the main shareholders with additional board representatives from both DAFF (formally DCMNR) and DARD (the two departments with responsibility for the implementation of government policy as it relates to aquaculture) and the Loughs Agency. The Initiative commenced operations in 1999 and is headquartered in Downpatrick, Co. Down. The Aquaculture Initiative operates in the six border counties of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The joint venture was originally established out of the Peace and Reconciliation Programme ( It is uniquely positioned to provide a range of support services for the sustainable development of the aquaculture industry in the cross border area.