After complaints from Seas At Risk member Danmarks Naturfredningsforening (DN), the European Commission has written to the Danish government over violations concerning dredging permits in a Natura 2000 site.

After complaints from Seas At Risk member Danmarks Naturfredningsforening (DN), the European Commission has written to the Danish government over violations concerning dredging permits in a Natura 2000 site.

DN wrote to the Commission in 2008 and 2009, pointing out that the permits awarded in Limfjord, Denmark, are violations according to the EU Habitats Directive.

Mussel dredging in Limfjord is considered a serious environmental threat and an impediment to the goals set out by Natura 2000 and other water management plans.

The Danish government is accused of hiding behind what DSNC claim to be a ‘false’ exemption on mussel dredging. It is alleged that the government allow for the dredging to continue on the basis that few alternatives to collecting mussels are available.

In a letter sent to the Commission, DN also make it plain as to what the Danish governments actions mean for the EU Directive, stating that allowance for the status quo to continue brings the very legitimacy of the Habitats Directive and the effectiveness of Natura 2000 sites into question.

If the Commission goes to court and wins the case, a ruling has the potential to remove the MSC certification given to the blue mussels dredged in Limfjord. The certification is already strongly opposed by many environmental NGOs, including DN.

The Danish government has been given two months until the end of December to reply to the Commission’s letter.

Photograph of Mussel catch from Limfjord, by Moody Marine LTD

 

For more information on the Danish Society for Nature Conservation

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