Artificial Reefs in French Law

Conference paper

Abstract

Studies on relationships between immersion and the economic exploitation of artificial reefs are relatively rare on the coastlines of France.

The biological effects produced by such installations are beginning to be known and scientifically demonstrated. However, caution is still required when assessing the economic benefits of artificial reefs. They may not be sufficient unto themselves, out of a broader framework of spatial regulation of professional and recreational fisheries and attendance. Each operation of immersion poses specifics problems (technical and practical) and requires obtaining prior administrative authorization, usually very stringent.

The marine environment is protected by the basic principles of public domain; any form of private occupation or use remains systematically temporary, precarious and revocable.

This first aspect is essential in the case of artificial reefs, in which immersion and productive potential are registered over the long term, without any real vocation to be removed from the seabed once their term expired. The administration is still very reserved about the perennity of artificial reefs, a concept against the classic rules in practice for the management of the public domain.

The second aspect lies in the arrangements concerning the exploitation of artificial reefs. Purely private access and use of artificial reefs seem irrelevant, given the potential conflicts they generate and the physical and legal impossibility of recognizing a form of private property of the species they house. The public or “collective” uses are certainly more appropriate to the situation of artificial reefs, they are de facto majority, but do not offer legible and uniform mechanisms for implementation.

Ultimately, artificial reefs offer a fragmented vision between different legal systems indirectly relevant to their case. Reflection about a formalization of their status opens up interesting perspectives concerning effectively taking into account the multifunctional specificities of artificial reefs.

Keywords

Legal System Artificial Reef Permit Holder Marine Culture Environmental Code 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre d’Étude et de Recherche sur les Transformations de l’Action Publique (CDED E.A. 4216) and USR 3278 CRIOBE (Centre de Recherche Insulaire et Observatoire de l’Environnement) - CBETMUniversité de PerpignanPerpignanFrance
  2. 2.USR 3278 CRIOBE (Centre de Recherche Insulaire et Observatoire de l’Environnement) – CBETMUniversité de PerpignanPerpignanFrance

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