Oil Leak 87 Not good news for dolphins

An interesting question that we’ve touched on before. Currently, the main legal argument for not undertaking the STS at the location where the CFPA want to do it is based on the fact that both the area is protected for its nature conservation interests, in this case being designated a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) for bottlenose dolphins and sub tidal sandbanks. The bottlenose dolphins (and other cetaceans) are further protected in their own right thought being European Protected Species (EPS). Provision for both EPS and areas designated as SAC’s comes from the Habitats Directive which is transposed into national law. We have slightly different regulations in Scotland than exist in the rest of the UK. But here’s the problem, whether you agree with leaving the EU or not, we are seeing increasing reports that it is the UK government’s intention to repeal the Habitats Directive post-Brexit. If the UK government go down this line, it is likely that Scottish Government will follow suit to prevent their being an economic disparity for developers north and south of the border. This is potentially not good news for dolphins.

Here’s the recent article in the Financial Times, although focussed towards Great Crested Newts (another EPS) – it stated “Government figures have told the Financial Times that the EU habitats directive is among measures set to be repealed…..”