Two non-governmental organizations (NGOs), Sea Shepherd and France Nature Environnement (FNE), announce that they will file, on Monday, December 6, appeals to the Council of State against the government, accused of not taking the necessary measures to preserve dolphins, a protected species threatened by certain fishing techniques. FNE and Sea Shepherd will each file an interim suspension and an appeal on the merits, they informed Agence France-Presse (AFP).
The European Commission opened an infringement procedure against France in July 2020, ruling that the country is not fulfilling its obligations towards this protected species. She returned a letter to this effect at the beginning of October.
Every winter, hundreds of cetacean corpses wash up on the French Atlantic coast. According to the Pelagis scientific observatory, accidental captures by fishing gear are one of the main causes of mortality.
For NGOs, the plan presented by the government in May 2021 to reduce these catches remains insufficient. In October, FNE asked the Ministry of the Sea “The closure for three months during each winter and for one month during each summer of the fisheries concerned by the catches of cetaceans”.
Based on recommendations from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), a scientific body which monitors the ecosystems of the North Atlantic, it also asks to install cameras on boats and to ensure that the obligation to report incidental captures of dolphins. The association does not explain having received a response from the ministry.
It therefore seized the Council of State by “An action in excess of power, appeal on the merits to annul the implicit decision of rejection” of the ministry, explained to AFP Jérôme Graefe, lawyer for FNE.
The association claims “An emergency measure specifically for this winter period 2021-2022”, from January 15 to March 15, the period when the majority of strandings take place. “This closure can be financed” by European funds and the recovery plan, “It is an ecologically responsible and economically and socially acceptable measure”, argues the FNE.
FNE, which had already lodged an appeal with the Council of State in February, decided to bring the case again to justice because “The State does not take all the means in its possession to try to improve things”, Judge Elodie Martinie-Cousty, of the association.
Sea Shepherd, on the other hand, asks “To the Council of State, immediate concrete measures”, said Marion Crécent, lawyer for the NGO.
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Two NGOs announce attacking the State before the Council of State to better protect dolphins