UK referred to ECJ for failure to protect marine species

UK referred to ECJ for failure to protect marine species

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The European Commission has referred the UK to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), alleging a failure to propose a list of sites which would ensure the protection of the harbour porpoise, in breach of Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora of 21 May 1992 (Habitats Directive).

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What is the background to the proceedings?

The Commission has referred the UK to the ECJ due to dissatisfaction with the protection measures taken by the UK in relation to the harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), a marine mammal regularly found in UK waters. The referral follows a request for information sent to the UK government in June 2013 and a request that the UK inform the Commission of the measures taken to comply with the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC in October 2014.

The Commission is not asserting a complete failure to comply with the Habitats Directive. It acknowledges that the UK has proposed small sites in Northern Ireland and Scotland

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About the author:
Sophie is an environmental law specialist at LexisNexis with 13 years’ experience.

Sophie moved to LexisNexis from Shoosmiths LLP where she was a Senior Associate. Prior to this Sophie trained at Browne Jacobson LLP and spent 6 years at Eversheds LLP. Sophie is a non-contentious environmental law specialist with experience in advising on all environmental aspects of real estate and corporate transactions, environmental compliance, contaminated land, waste management, water law, sustainability, producer responsibility and chemicals regulation.