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Taking the pulse of environmental and fisheries law: The common fisheries policy, the habitats directive, and Brexit

Appleby, Thomas; Harrison, James

Authors

Tom Appleby Thomas.Appleby@uwe.ac.uk
Associate Professor in Property

James Harrison



Abstract

There has long been a tension between environmental regulation and the European Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), which has been addressed over time through progressive reform of the CFP. It is now recognised that Member States may comply with their obligations under EU nature conservation law by taking unilateral non-discriminatory measures within their territorial seas to protect the marine environment from threats posed by fishing. Nevertheless, fundamental uncertainties remain when it comes to the application of these obligations to offshore waters. This article explores the options available to coastal states in this context and the weaknesses of the procedures introduced to the reformed CFP in 2013. It is argued that compliance with nature conservation law in the context of fisheries is not discretionary and that in the absence of measures agreed at the EU level, Member States must comply with their obligations under the Habitats Directive in their capacity as a flag state. Finally, the article addresses the implications of Brexit for the protection of European Marine Sites in UK waters, suggesting that Brexit offers opportunities to strengthen the protection of marine ecosystems by making future access arrangements for foreign fishing vessels conditional upon compliance with nature conservation laws.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Nov 1, 2019
Journal Journal of Environmental Law
Print ISSN 0952-8873
Electronic ISSN 1464-374X
Publisher Oxford University Press (OUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 31
Issue 3
Pages 443-464
APA6 Citation Appleby, T., & Harrison, J. (2019). Taking the pulse of environmental and fisheries law: The common fisheries policy, the habitats directive, and Brexit. Journal of Environmental Law, 31(3), 443-464. https://doi.org/10.1093/jel/eqy027
DOI https://doi.org/10.1093/jel/eqy027
Keywords habitats, directive, fisheries, marine, conservation
Publisher URL https://doi.org/10.1093/jel/eqy027
Additional Information Additional Information : This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Environmental Law following peer review. The version of record [Appleby, T. and Harrison, J. (2019) Taking the pulse of environmental and fisheries law: The common fisheries policy, the habitats directive, and Brexit. Journal of Environmental Law, eqy027. ISSN 0952-8873] is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1093/jel/eqy027.
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