Case Notes: Liberalising the Threshold of Precaution – Cockle Fishing, the Habitats Directive, and Evidence of a New Understanding of ‘Scientific Uncertainty`

0
- By:

Courtesy of

FACTS AND KEY ELEMENTS OF JUDGMENT

The Wadden Sea, extending along the North Sea coast of the Netherlands, is a shallow water ecosystem comprising of tidal channels, sands, mud flats, and salt marshes. It is officially recognised as a protected area for birds, pursuant to Council Directive 79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979 on the conservation of wild birds (‘the Birds Directive’), and is renowned for providing a habitat in which two cockle-feeding species reside — the eider duck (somateria mollissima) and the oyster-catcher (haematopus ostralegus).

Mechanical cockle-fishing has taken place in the Wadden Sea for a number of decades. This typically involves trawls being dragged over the seabed, removing the top five centimetres and sieving the content hydraulically.1 Authorisation for cockle-fishing has been required since 1975 as a measure to avoid species depletion, and was granted by way of exemption from conservation provisions, to which no further conditions were attached.2 However, from 1998, Article 12 of the Natuurbeschermingswet (Nature Conservation Law) stipulated that cockle-fishers obtain an annually renewable authorisation, to which specific provisos could be attached

Customer comments

No comments were found for Case Notes: Liberalising the Threshold of Precaution – Cockle Fishing, the Habitats Directive, and Evidence of a New Understanding of ‘Scientific Uncertainty'. Be the first to comment!