Member States are designating more and more marine protected areas in their offshore waters (i.e. beyond 12 nautical miles) in order to protect vulnerable or remarkable marine habitats and species. These areas need to be effectively protected from damaging activities, in particular from certain types of fisheries. International cooperation, following the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy, is key to this.

According to the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), countries cannot put in place fisheries control measures unilaterally if these risk impacting fisheries from another Member State fishing in the same area. During the last reform of the CFP, the regulators therefore created a mechanism (Article 11 of the revised CFP) whereby a Member State can adopt conservation measures in its marine protected areas through dialogue and consensus with the neighbouring Member States who also fish in the area.

So far, not many Member States have made use of this mechanism but it is bound to become more and more utilised in the coming years. This is why it is important that NGOs understand how it works and, more importantly, where and when they can intervene in the process to ensure that the measures adopted by the Member States are ambitious and comply with EU’s nature legislation.

In a webinar, broadcasted on 8 March 2017, experts gave an introduction to Article 11 of the Common Fisheries Policy and explained how NGOs can take part in the process.

Structure of the webinar:

  •  Introduction by Monica Verbeek, Director, Seas At Risk.
  •  Moderation by Alice Belin, Marine Policy Officer, Seas At Risk.
  •  Presentation of Article 11 of the CFP by Alice Puritz, Lawyer, ClientEarth.
  •  Presentation of the UK case study by Jean-Luc Solandt, Principal Specialist on Marine Protected Areas, Marine Conservation Society.
  •  Presentation of the Belgian case study by Krien Hansen, Policy Officer, Natuurpunt.  

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