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Legal first: Highest EU court tackles overfishing for the first time

Legal first: Highest EU court tackles overfishing for the first time

February 2022

In a landmark move, the High Court of Ireland has referred a case to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to determine whether EU ministers have unlawfully set unsustainable fishing limits.

This action, initiated by Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE) with support from ClientEarth, aims to combat overfishing after the EU failed to meet its binding 2020 deadline to end overfishing. Despite scientific advice, EU ministers have consistently set fishing limits above sustainable levels, endangering fish populations and coastal communities. The case targets fishing limits for 2020, but its outcome will impact future regulations.

A hearing on the case is anticipated in the coming months.

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