Over the past year, BLUE Legal has quietly ratcheted up the pressure for the proper creation and enforcement of law at sea.
Blue Legal has taken two successful legal challenges relating to activities inside marine protected areas. In 2021 we led a group of environment and angling groups to become a party to a public inquiry into Hinkley Point C nuclear power station’s cooling system and its impact on the marine ecosystem. The plant will abstract and discharge more water than the River Severn itself and return it 11 degrees hotter. Though mitigation measures are in place, the impact on marine life will be significant and EDF, the developers of the site, have now agreed to undertake environmental compensation measures to offset the damage caused by their activities. We will continue to monitor the process to ensure effective measures are put in place. We have also pressured the UK authorities into closing the Dogger Bank and other offshore marine protected areas to remove harmful fishing activities. In June 2022 fishing restrictions were put in place for 12,000 km2 of the UK’s portion of the Dogger Bank for the first time in hundreds of years. We still have an active complaint with the European Commission, together with other environment groups, against Germany and the Netherlands for their failure to manage the portion of the Dogger and we are investigating our legal options in the EU too.
We undertake a range of other activities, but these are often delicate and remain confidential. Where we can we operate a practice of open sourcing our legal advice – such as our key academic paper on our Dogger Bank work. Our theory of change is to support rather than undermine the key institutions of government, but sometimes it is necessary to undertake court action.
By working together, we can turn the tide on overfishing and the destruction of biodiversity. By supporting Blue Marine, you can help to create marine reserves around the world.