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Marine Natura 2000 and Fishery – The Case of Sweden

In: Journal for European Environmental & Planning Law
Authors:
Anna Christiernsson University of Gothenburg, anna.christiernsson@gu.se

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Gabriel Michanek Uppsala University, gabriel.michanek@jur.uu.se

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Pontus Nilsson University of Gothenburg, pontus.nilsson@havochvatten.se

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Fishing operations likely to have a significant effect on a marine Natura 2000 area shall be subject to prior assessment and authorisation according to Article 6.3 of the Habitats Directive. This provision, partly also article 6.2, and in particular the cjeu case law, implies that this prior control should be applied rather often in practice, even for recurrent fishery irrespective of when the first fishing operation occurred in an area. Article 11 of the Common Fisheries Policy Regulation entails that Sweden and other Member States apply Article 6 of the Habitats Directive within the entire exclusive economic zone, to both own and foreign fishing vessels. A Member State is also, under certain preconditions, empowered to impose restrictions on fishery not supported by article 6 of the Habitats Directive, especially within the 12 nautical miles zone. A Member State is not formally hindered from excluding fishery from prior assessment and authorisation if instead general requirements on fishery in legislation can ensure that no future fishing operation is likely to have a significant effect on the Natura 2000 area. However, cjeu case law indicates that it would be difficult to fulfil that precondition.

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