What is the state of our coastal fish community?


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Map of the Baltic Sea coast of Schleswig-Holstein including the proposed seven sampling areas (red circles) and the already existing monitoring stations (chemical water analyses, macrozoobenthos, macrophytes). The light grey areas mark water depths above 20 m. Dark grey areas mark rocks. (© Thünen-Institut)


In a pilot study, seven potential sampling areas along the Baltic coast of Schleswig-Holstein were identified (see map). These areas are characterized by their proximity to already existing monitoring stations (assessment of macrophytes, macrozoobenthos and chemical water properties). Five habitat types, typical for the German coast, will be sampled in each of the seven sampling areas to gather as much data as possible in the beginning of the project. These habitats comprise seagrass meadows, rocky reefs, bare sand areas, blue mussel beds, and bladderwrack belts. Different active and passive fishing gear will be used for sampling to capture a broad size and species spectrum. Amongst others, gillnets („Nordic coastal multi-mesh gillnets“), fykes, fish traps („minnow traps“) and beach seines will be used.

Data and Methods

The fish community will be characterized by means of different variables. This includes total/species abundances, species richness, biomass, size, condition and diet composition. The habitats/sampling stations will be described by means of abiotic environmental variables, such as water temperature, salinity and oxygen content. Based on the collected data, the state and species composition of the coastal fish fauna can be described, shedding light on the significance of the examined habitats for coastal fish. In this context, indicators will be developed and tested that adequately assess the state of the coastal fish community.


Involved Thünen-Partners

Funding Body

  • Bundesland Schleswig-Holstein
    (national, öffentlich)


9.2020 - 12.2023

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: ongoing