FRANCE: EC acts over failure to report on fish and shellfish water protection

The European Commission has issued a 'Reasoned Opinion' - a last warning given before cases are referred to the European Court - to France over the country's failure to report on the Shellfish Water and Fish Water Directives.


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The Shellfish Directive seeks to maintain water quality sufficient for shellfish and the Fish Water Directive is designed to support:

  • salmonids – salmon and trout
  • cypinids – coarse fish, including pike and perch, as well as eels

France has failed to provide all the information – due in September 1996 – required by the EC regarding plans to implement the two directives. As a result, the EC has been impeded in its work to publish an EU-wide report on the directives’ implementation and has issued a Reasoned Opinion.

Both the Shellfish and the Fish Water Directives follow the same process of implementation, that includes:

  • designation of relevant waters
  • setting of binding water quality standards for the designated areas
  • adoption of pollution reduction programmes
  • periodic monitoring

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