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.

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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