Environmental and Aquatic legislation
Below is listed some of the main environmental legislation which encompasses the aquatic environment. This legislation aims to both protect and enhance water resources in the UK and is enforceable by law.
The Fisheries Directive:
falling to the Environment Agencies to implement, but of obvious concern to the various individual and corporate fishery interests. EC Directive 78/659/EEC on the quality of freshwaters needing protection or improvement in order to support fish life considers two categories of water - those suitable for salmonid or cyprinid fisheries - and sets guideline and/or imperative standards for temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, suspended solids, BOD, total phosphorus, nitrites, phenolic compounds, petroleum hydrocarbons, un-ionised ammonia, total ammonium, total residual chlorine, total zinc and dissolved copper.
The Welfare of Animals During Transport Council Regulation (EC) 1/2005
States that any transporter of animals in connection with economic activity needs to hold a transporter authorisation issued by the State Veterinary Service. These authorisations are free if applied for in the financial year 2007 and last for 5 years. There are two types of authorisation: for short journeys over 65km (approx 40 miles) or up to and including 8 hours and for long journeys which covers all journey times and distances above this. A journey is defined as the time at which the first animal is put into the means of transport at the premises of departure until the last animal is unloaded at the final destination (Defra, 2007).
In order to be eligible for authorisation you must meet the following criteria:
- The individual or business must be established in the United Kingdom. Those operatives based in other EU member states are expected to be authorised in their respective member state.
- Only one authorisation may be held.
- The individual/business can demonstrate there is the appropriate equipment and operational procedures in place to transport animals in compliance with the regulation.
- That the operatives carrying out the transportation must be trained and competent to transport animals.
- Anyone likely to be involved in transporting animals under the authorisation must not have a record of serious animal welfare offences in the 3 years proceeding the date of your application.
Habitats Directive (92/32/EEC)
The European Community Council Directive on the Conservation of Natural Habitats of Wild Fauna and Flora (92/43/EEC) aims to protect the European Union's biodiversity. It requires member states to designate Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) - sites of European importance for listed habitats and species. SACs must be maintained at, or restored to, favourable conservation status, and should be protected from damaging plans or projects. The Directive also requires member states to provide strict protection for specified flora and fauna outside of designated sites (i.e. European Protected Species).
Habitats Regulations 1994
The Conservation (Natural Habitats Directive) Regulations 1994 formally transpose the requirements of the Habitats Directive into national law. They build on existing nature conservation legislation for the protection of habitats and species by introducing requirements for assessing plans and projects affecting European designations and licensing certain activities affecting European Protected Species.
Countryside Act 1968
This act imposed a duty on local authorities and other public bodies to have regard to the desirability of conserving the "natural beauty and amenity" of the countryside - including wildlife - in the exercise of their functions relating to land.
Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
This act provides varying degrees of protection for the listed species of flora and fauna, including comprehensive protection of wild birds and their nests and eggs. The act also introduced the designation of Marine Nature Reserves. It also revised the system for designating SSSIs and gave further powers for their protection and the introduction of management agreements.
Protection of Badgers Act 1992
This act consolidated previous badger legislation by providing comprehensive protection for badgers and their sets, with a requirement that any authorised set disturbance or destruction be carried out under licence.
Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000
This act strengthens the protection given to SSSIs. It revises the procedures for the notification of SSSIs and for the consenting of operations which may damage the special interest of a SSSI. Local authorities have a new duty to take steps, consistent with the proper exercise of their functions, to further the conservation and enhancement of SSSIs.
The act also strengthens the existing provisions of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 for the enforcement of wildlife legislation, including a new offence of "recklessly" destroying or damaging the habitats of certain protected species.
Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999 Directive 85/33/EEC, Amended by 97/11/EC
These regulations (implementing a European Directive) require an Environmental Impact Assessment to be carried out, before planning permission is granted, for certain types of major project which are judged likely to have significant environmental effects.