Up Frenchmen's creek: A case study on managing commercial fishing in an English special area of conservation and its implications
Solandt , J.-L. , Appleby, T. and Hoskin, M. (2012) Up Frenchmen's creek: A case study on managing commercial fishing in an English special area of conservation and its implications. To be published in Environmental Science & Policy. ISSN 1462-9011 [Submitted]
Publisher's URL: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/environmental-sci...
The Habitats Directive has matured over the years since it has been implemented. One of the last industries to feel its application is the commercial sea fishing industry: the industry which according to the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (RCEP, 2004) has the most direct effect on the marine ecosystem. This paper outlines one of the earliest applications of the Directive to commercial fishing in the UK's Fal and Helford estuaries, where an NGO took the local administrators to task over failure to implement the Directive in a European marine site. It goes on to describe how different regulators took differing approaches to their roles and how the lack of enforcement capacity of one statutory nature conservation agency meant that an NGO had to threaten a complaint to the European Commission and potential infraction proceedings against the UK before the European marine site was closed to damaging fishing operations. It then explains how this test case has percolated into UK fisheries management around the UK, leading to the closure of damaging fisheries in Welsh marine sites, ongoing debate over English sites and a growing debate over whether the application of the Directive and other European environmental legislation to marine fisheries is inevitable in the rest of the UK and the European Union. Commercial fishing will undoubtedly continue in UK waters but it is likely that those fishing methods which have a significant impact on the marine environment will face an increasing burden of regulation in the coming years.
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