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The Commission informed the Government of Portugal that it must respect
the exclusive mandate of the EU for the conservation of marine biological
resources, following representations made by Portugal towards the
North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) and the International
Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). The "reasoned opinion"
was issued following interventions from Portugal regarding measures
to address the impacts of bottom fishing activities on vulnerable
marine ecosystems. The Commission considers that the approach breaches
EU law and if Portugal does not reply satisfactorily within two months,
the Commission may refer the matter to the Court of Justice of the
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