European Commission takes UK to court over failure to protect marine species
The European Commission is taking the UK to the Court of Justice of the EU for its failure to propose sites for the protection of the harbour porpoise, a marine mammal regularly found in UK waters.
EU legislation on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora requires member states to propose a list of sites for a number of designated species and their habitats, ensuring their protection from threats and to take measures to ensure their conservation.
Due to the unfavourable status of the harbour porpoises in the EU, 13 other member states have designated around 200 sites for its protection. However, the UK has so far formally proposed only one small site in Northern Ireland (the Skerries and Causeway Special Area of Conservation) and one site in Scotland (the Inner Hebrides and Minches Special Area of Conservation).
The Commission says that since the UK has an extensive marine area, it has a particular responsibility for the protection of this species, and has repeatedly urged the British authorities to fulfil their obligations for the conservation of the species.
The action follows a letter of formal notice sent to the UK government in June 2013 and another in October 2014.
The UK has recently conducted a public consultation on a number of potential sites in English and Welsh waters and in September formally proposed one site in Scottish waters. However, many areas where the species occurs in greatest densities are lacking the protection required from potentially damaging activities such as offshore wind farm construction, oil and gas exploration and fishing.
- Affinity Water staff work to protect chalk streams Volunteers from Affinity Water have taken part in training days held by the Wild Trout Trust aimed at restoring river... Read More >
- H&M to minimise water impact through 'cutting-edge' strategy H&M's new global water strategy will significantly reduce its water impact throughout its operations and supply chain, the... Read More >
- Conservation groups call for 'frack-free zones' to protect water and wildlife Six leading wildlife and countryside groups, including the National Trust and RSPB, are calling for designated frack-free... Read More >
- Interview: Ben Jeffs, Chief Executive, MOSL “The whole industry has really mobilised around market opening, and the water companies deserve credit for that.” Read More >
- Close-Up: Who will be the big fish in the new water retail market? With a £2.5BN new market for non-domestic water retail to open in England in April, joint ventures, incumbents and new... Read More >
- Water Industry Procurement: could Brexit provide a fresh start? Could Brexit lead to a re-examination of the procurement rules which govern the water industry and other infrastructure... Read More >
- Industry View: Let's not drop the ball after PR19 There must be better alignment between PR19 strategic plans and actual delivery plans if water companies are to get full... Read More >
- Close-Up: From Sludge to Bioresources As a separate price control for sludge takes shape for PR19, who will be the winners from the new market for bioresources? Read More >