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Parliamentary questions
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14 September 2017
E-004936/2017(ASW)
Answer given by Mr Vella on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-004936/2017

The Commission is not familiar with the project in question and therefore it cannot express a view on it. Member States are primarily responsible for ensuring compliance with EU legislation such as the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive(1), the Birds(2) and Habitats(3) Directives and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD)(4) including, when relevant, in relation to consultation requirements thereunder.

It is therefore for the national competent authorities to ensure that the potential impacts of this project on the environment are duly taken into account in the licencing procedures.

Kelp harvesting as such does not fall under project categories listed in Annexes I and II of the EIA Directive which would require a full EIA or screening under Article 4 of the directive.

Although Bantry Bay is not a Natura 2000 site, there are several adjacent sites, including ‘Glengarriff Harbour and Woodland’, which is designated as a site of Community importance for, inter alia, the Otter (Lutra lutra) and the Common Seal (Phoca vitulina).

Pursuant to Article 6.3 of the Habitats Directive, any plan or project likely to have a significant effect on these sites, either individually or in combination with other plans or project, needs to be subject to an appropriate assessment of its implications in view of relevant site conservation objectives.

Marine plant harvesting is mentioned under Annex III of the MSFD among human activities affecting the marine environment, for which an analysis should be included in the initial assessment of Member State marine waters (Article 8).

(1)Directive 2014/52/EU amending Directive 2011/92/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment, OJ L 124, 25.4.2014, p. 1-18.
(2)Directive 2009/147/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on the conservation of wild birds, OJ L 20, 26.1.2010, p. 7‐25
(3)Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora, OJ L 206, 22.7.1992, p. 7‐50
(4)Directive 2008/56/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 establishing a framework for community action in the field of marine environmental policy, OJ L 164, 25.6.2008, p. 19‐40.

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