Request for a preliminary ruling from the Østre Landsret (Denmark) lodged on 28 April 2021 – Dansk Akvakultur, acting for AquaPri A/S v Miljø- og Fødevareklagenævnet

(Case C-278/21)

Language of the case: Danish

Referring court

Østre Landsret

Parties to the main proceedings

Applicant: Dansk Akvakultur, acting for AquaPri A/S

Defendant: Miljø- og Fødevareklagenævnet

Intervener: Landbrug & Fødevarer (in support of AquaPri A/S)

Questions referred

Is [the first sentence of] Article 6(3) of Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (Habitats Directive) 1 to be interpreted as being applicable to a situation such as that in the present case in which an authorisation is sought to continue operation of an existing fish farm, where the activity of the fish farm and the discharge of nitrogen and other nutrients remains unchanged in relation to the activity and discharge authorised in 2006, but where no assessment was made of the overall activity and the cumulative effects of all the fish farms in the area in connection with the previous authorisation of the fish farm, in so far as the relevant authorities assessed only the overall additional discharge of nitrogen etc. from the fish farm concerned?

Is it relevant, for the purpose of answering Question 1, that the national River Basin Management Plan 2015-2021 takes account of the presence of the fish farms in the area in so far as it sets aside a specific amount of nitrogen to ensure that the existing fish farms in the area can make use of their present discharge authorisations and that the actual discharge from the fish farms remains within the set limits?

If, in a situation such as that in the present case, an assessment must be carried out pursuant to [the first sentence of] Article 6(3) of the Habitats Directive, is the relevant authority required, in connection with that assessment, to take into account the limits on the discharge of nitrogen set aside in the River Basin Management Plan 2015-2021 and any other relevant information and assessments which might arise from the River Basin Management Plan or the Natura 2000 plan for the area?

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1 OJ 1992 L 206, p. 7.