Harbour porpoise Special Areas of Conservation

ClientEarth, in partnership with Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), has been reviewing the UK's approach to selecting harbour porpoise special areas of conservation (SACs) under the EU Habitats Directive. WDC have published a scientific and policy paper identifying critical areas of habitat for harbour porpoises in UK waters and looks at how harbour porpoise SACs can form part of a coherent network of marine protected areas for cetaceans.

To support WDC’s work, ClientEarth have undertaken an in-depth analysis of the approach that has been pursued by the UK Government in selecting harbour porpoise SACs. Our report highlights how the UK’s approach is not compatible with the legal and scientific obligations under the Habitats Directive.

UK waters host some of the highest densities of harbour porpoises in Europe and the lack of harbour porpoise SACs in the UK is the subject of legal infraction proceedings that have been issued by the European Commission to the UK Government. ClientEarth and WDC hope that our research will assist the UK Government in responding positively to the Commissions infraction proceedings and designate SACs to protect the harbour porpoise.

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Published October 1, 2013
Found in OceansWildlife