The Salmon & Trout Association has lodged a formal complaint to the European Commission over failure fo comply with the Habitats Directive in respect of the River Avon SAC.
AST supports the S&TA complaint, which states that the UK has failed:
- to comply with Articles 2 and 6 of the Habitats Directive and is highly likely to fail to comply with Article 4(1)(c) of the Water Framework Directive in respect of the River Avon;
- to apply a sufficiently precautionary approach to the protection of the River Avon SAC, contrary to the requirements of Article 191 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, erring instead on the side of supporting the status quo and avoiding as far as possible the need to amend, revoke or vary existing consents and permissions on the River Avon SAC;
- to establish the necessary conservationmeasures, appropriate management plans and appropriate statutory, administrative or contractual measures to protect the natural habitat types and species of the River Avon SAC, relating to the impacts caused by low-flows,over-abstraction of water, including for public water supply and nutrient and other pollution.
- to avoid the deterioration of natural habitats and species on the Hampshire Avon since its designation under the Habitats Directive.
In particular, the evidence on Atlantic salmon, for which the Hampshire Avon SAC is designated, shows that the UK has failed to take the steps it is required by law to do. As a result the Avon salmon population is under severe threat and has consistently failed to meet conservation limits set for its long-term viability.