Development of fisheries management measures in marine protected NATURA 2000 areas of the German EEZ of the North Sea and Baltic Sea.
How should fisheries in Natura 2000 sites be managed? Together with colleagues from the Thünen Institute of Sea Fisheries and the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, we developed first proposals for such measures.
With the entry into force of the Council Directive on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (Habitats Directive, 92/43/EEC from 21 May 1991), EU Member States undertook to establish a consistent network of protected areas. The Natura 2000 sites (also known as Sites of Community Importance or SCI) together with the bird protection areas known as Special Protection Areas (SPA) pursuant to the EU Directive on the conservation of wild birds (Birds Directive, 2009/147/EU) comprise the Natura 2000 system of nature protection areas.
In the German exclusive economic zone (EEZ; zone ranging from 12 to 200 nautical miles from the base line) of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, the area map contains ten Natura 2000 sites which Germany proposed to the European Commission in May 2004. These sites comprise approximately 31% of the area covered by the German EEZ.
Once the sites are entered into the European Commission's Community list, Germany is obliged, to draft management plans as soon as possible and within six years at the most (for German Natura 2000 sites in the German EEZ this would be the year 2013), to ensure the maintenance or restoration of the favourable conservation status of species and habitats.
Based on the findings from the EMPAS project, the ICES Advisory Committee drafted advice on options for fisheries management that will help achieve the conservation objectives of the German Natura 2000 sites in German EEZ (ICES 2008a).
In 2010, a scientific working group consisting of representatives of the TI and the BfN was tasked to develop proposals for fisheries management measures to implement the requirements of the Habitats Directive and the Birds Directive in the Natura 2000 sites in the German EEZ of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea.
The Working Group identified options for fisheries management measures for each Natura 2000 site which, from an expert point of view, appear to be best suited to ensuring the implementation of the Habitats Directive and the Birds Directive in the German EEZ of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. The working group worked on points 1 through 9 and 11 of the European Commission's guidelines for the implementation of fisheries management measures in Natura 2000 sites.
The working group analysed current data on the conservation status and vulnerability of protected habitats and species in the designated marine Natura 2000 sites with respect to the conservation objectives (primary responsibility assigned to the BfN). At the same time, scenarios for planning management measures and assessing possible impacts on fisheries were developed on the basis of the latest data available on the fishing activities of various national and international fleet segments in the marine Natura 2000 sites (primary responsibility assigned to the TI).
The only data record available for the Baltic Sea that also allowed an examination of the activities and landings of the fleets of other EU Member States is from the year 2006. By contrast, the data available for the North Sea was more current thanks to a more recent project (a study conducted in the plaice box) from the year 2009.
The representatives of the BfN and the TI worked to reach the greatest possible consensus regarding the proposed measures for fisheries management for the Natura 2000 sites in order to (1) ensure the implementation of the Habitats Directive and the Birds Directive and (2) reduce to an absolute minimum the socio-economic impact that these measures would have on fisheries. Cases where the BfN and vTI could not agree on joint measures are identified accordingly. In such cases the choice of fisheries management measures to be implemented will be left to the minisrtries. The alternative options which the working group recommended could be used as a basis for making such decisions. The members of the working group consider the following document to be the first version of a proposal for fisheries management measures in Natura 2000 areas.
1.2009 - 12.2013
Project status: finished