Key facts of the case:
Based on Article 7 (1) 0f Regulation No 2371/2002 (Article 2 of which sets out as objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy ensuring “exploitation of living aquatic resources that provides sustainable … conditions”, and provides application of the “precautionary approach”), and having regard to the requirements established in Regulation No 1559/2007, the Commission adopted, by Regulation No 530/2008, emergency measures for the purpose of protecting bluefish tuna. These measures prohibited not only restrictions of fishing, but also of “landing”, “placing in cages” and “transhipments” of that fish, in summer 2008, from 16.6. or from 23.6. (insofar as Spanish “purse seiners” were concerned). A Maltese enterprise challenged those provisions in court which referred to CJ.
Results (sanctions) and key consequences of the case:
The Court (Second Chamber) hereby rules:
- Examination of the questions referred has disclosed no factor of such a kind as to affect the validity of Commission Regulation (EC) No 530/2008 of 12 June 2008 establishing emergency measures as regards purse seiners fishing for bluefin tuna in the Atlantic Ocean, east of longitude 45°W, and in the Mediterranean Sea or of Article 7(2) of Council Regulation (EC) No 2371/2002 of 20 December 2002 on the conservation and sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources under the Common Fisheries Policy as regards the adversarial principle and the principle of effective judicial protection.
- Examination of the questions referred has disclosed no factor of such a kind as to affect the validity of Regulation No 530/2008 as regards the requirement to state reasons laid down in Article 296(2) TFEU, the principle of the protection of legitimate expectations and the principle of proportionality.
- Regulation No 530/2008 is invalid in so far as, having been adopted on the basis of Article 7(1) of Regulation No 2371/2002, the prohibitions it contains took effect from 23 June 2008 for purse seiners flying the flag of or registered in Spain and Community operators who had concluded contracts with them, whereas those prohibitions took effect from 16 June 2008 for purse seiners flying the flag of or registered in Malta, Greece, France, Italy and Cyprus and Community operators who had concluded contracts with them, without such difference in treatment being objectively justified.