MGF North Sea: Status description and monitoring concepts in protected areas for demersal fish and epifauna along gradients of different fishing intensity (TP5)
What happens to habitats and communities when commercial fishing stops? This important but largely unanswered question is the focus of this research project.
In the German Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the North Sea, the three Natura 2000 areas of Sylt Outer Reef, Borkum Reef Ground and Dogger Bank are designated as nature reserves according to the EU Habitat Directive (FFH). However, this does not completely exclude commercial fishing in these areas. An exclusion of mobile bottom fishing from large parts of the three Natura 2000 areas is planned, but a final decision on the fisheries management measures in the German Natura 2000 areas by the EU Commission is still pending. The aim of this joint project is to investigate the current state of the protected goods and the ecological status of the areas in order to be able to assess the long-term effects on the prevailing habitats and communities in the protected areas after exclusion (before-after-control impact, in short: BACI approach).
Science, politics, economy
How do benthic habitats and communities in the German Natura 2000 areas react to the exclusion of mobile bottom fishing?
3.2020 - 2.2023
Project status: ongoing