Summary title: Petition No 0578/2017 by Mads Nikolajsen (Danish) on Denmark's breach of EU environmental legislation to enable expansion of aquaculture
Petition number: 0578/2017
Name: Mads Nikolajsen
The petitioner wishes to issue a complaint against the Danish government for the breach of EU legislation, in particular the Water Framework Directive and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. In the petitioner’s view, the breach manifests in politically inventing a so-called national 'environmental space', a category non-existent in science, which is also not found in EU legislation. The petitioner considers that the problem is very urgent, as the system allows for the immediate comprehensive expansion of Danish fish farms in open cages and thus for the pollution of Baltic Sea areas already heavily burdened from many sources and countries. The petitioner informs that after months of popular protests, the Danish Parliament adopted the Proposal for a Law (L 111) amending the Environmental Protection Act (Compensatory marine instruments for the establishment or extension of aquaculture) on 1 June 2017, removing the last obstacle to the establishment of new aquaculture farms and to extensions of existing fish farming. Applicants may either utilize the national quota of 800 tonnes of nitrogen and 96 tonnes of phosphorus in the Kattegat (so-called 'environmental space') and / or create an 'environmental space' by establishing compensatory marine aquaculture allowing for increased pollution. According to the petitioner, the Danish legislation will cause delays in achieving the common EU goals for water quality in coastal and open sea by increasing eutrophication. Furthermore, Danish aquaculture will also impair biodiversity in the ocean and seabed, and other target parameters covered by the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the Water Framework Directive. He adds that escaped fish may also genetically contaminate natural fish stocks.