The Commission has adopted concervation measures to reinforce protection for 11 vulnerable sites in the North Sea (Kattegat)
The Commission adopted a set of conservation measures to protect six areas defined under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and five Natura 2000 sites in the Danish and Swedish parts of the Kattegat.
Based on a joint initiative of Denmark, Sweden and Germany, the action is a positive step towards reducing the impact of fishing activities on the seabed and habitats. The measures ensure protection of sensitive species, will improve the ecological functioning of Marine Protected Areas (MPA) and deliver on the European Green Deal and EU’s biodiversity strategy for 2030.
On the Danish side of the Kattegat, the measures concern six MSFD area and one Natura 2000 area. The measures aim at protecting the soft seabed and reef structures from the impact of mobile bottom contacting gears. On the Swedish side, the measures aim at protecting sensitive species and habitats in four Natura 2000 areas.
The measures, which include closures of certain areas to fishing activities, the prohibition of mobile contacting gears in the MSFD and Natura 2000 areas, allowing fishing only with most selective gears in certains areas and reinforced control, received a positive evaluation from scientists from the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF).
The Commission is pleased to acknowledge the optimal use made by Denmark, Sweden and Germany of Article 11 of the common fisheries policy (CFP), stating that fisheries conservation measures should contribute to the EU’s environmental policy. Furthermore, the measures are an example of the positive opportunities offered by regionalisation.