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aniskasa Mar 27, 2012 09:47 AM
Dear all,

I would like to inform you about a dreadful application that has been placed just recently in Finland.

The Saimaa ringed seal is an extremely endangered species, living only in the lake Saimaa in Finland, nowhere else in the world. One of the biggest threats to the species is under-ice fishing with nets during the spring time, when the baby seals are born and too weak to survive from entangling in the nets.

There are some 260 individuals in the whole world, for more information see

In the application, the local fishers apply for permit to start under ice fishing this spring in 23 regions in the lake Saimaa. According to the local environmental protection organization, even placing such an application is a demonstration of total disregard towards the seals and their extinction from this planet. Even the local residents and summer cottage owners agree that the species should be saved, even if it means that they are not allowed to fish using nets for a time period that is only a few months every year. It is only the inexplicable carelessness and total lack of environmental interest of a few parties that cause most of the threat to the seals.

The application is processed in the finnish Centre of Economic Development, Transport and the Environment on 29th of March, or in two days.

EU has previously pointed out the the actions Finland has taken in order to protect and save the species from extinction are not sufficient enough. I'm asking you to use all your power to contact the above mentioned centre and try to influence their decision making in this matter before it is too late for the Saimaa ringed seal.

Best Regards,

Arttu Niskasaari
Replies (1)
EEA Mar 28, 2012 08:39 AM
Dear Arttu Niskasaari

As you may know, the European Environment Agency produces reports on the state of the environment and has no legal mandate for providing legal or technical assistance for legal complaints and no powers of investigation related to the allegations you present.

Under the Treaty establishing the European Community, the European Commission is responsible for ensuring that Community law is correctly applied. Anyone may lodge a complaint with the Commission against a Member State about any measure, which is considered to be incompatible with Community law. To be admissible a complaint has to relate to an infringement of Community law by a Member State.

Anyone who considers a measure (law, regulation or administrative action) or administrative practice to be incompatible with Community law is invited, before or at the same time as lodging a complaint with the Commission, to seek redress from the national administrative or judicial authorities (including the national or regional ombudsman and/or arbitration and conciliation procedures available). The Commission advises the prior use of such national means of redress, whether administrative, judicial or other, before lodging a complaint with the Commission, because of the advantages they may offer for complainants.
In your case, the Finnish national authorities are responsible for this matter. I therefore suggest that you first contact the responsible national authorities in Finland.

Internet and postal addresses of relevant national authorities can be obtained at:

Should you consider introducing a complaint, it should be addressed to the competent service(s) of Directorate General Environment of the European Commission in charge of these matters, which you can contact at the following address:

Jean-Francois Brakeland
European Commission
Unit, ENV.A.2- Compliance promotion, governance & legal issues
200 Rue de la Loi
1049 Bruxelles - Belgium

At the following links, you can read more about European Commission infringement proceedings for non-compliance with Community law Principles.
Making a complaint:[…]/your_rights_forms_en.htm
Exercise your rights:[…]/your_rights_en.htm

I hope that this information may be useful to you.
Kind regards