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About this book

This volume offers insight in the identification and selection procedure of marine protected areas in the German exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of the North - and Baltic Seas. EU Member States are obliged to establish a coherent network of protected areas, consisting of sites identified under the EC Habitats and Birds Directives. The goal of this Natura 2000 network is the conservation of biodiversity on land and in the sea. To fill important gaps in knowledge regarding the presence, abundance, and distribution of certain species and habitats in the German North- and Baltic Seas, the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) initiated a detailed research programme, involving researchers from many renowned German marine research institutes. This book contains the main results of the different projects under this research programme, which formed the basis for the identification and selection of the Natura 2000 sites. Information is given on two NATURA 2000 habitats (sandbanks and reefs), and benthic species, fish, birds and marine mammals, as well as on legal aspects and implementation procedures. Last but not least the book introduces the current status of NATURA 2000 in the German EEZ. Target audience are not only scientists, but also policymakers, environmental organisations and other stakeholders, and the book includes many illustrations.

Table of Contents




MPAs in the German EEZ — conventions and legal aspects

Chapter 1. International conventions for marine nature conservation and marine protected areas relevant to the North Sea and the Baltic Sea

Increasing pressure on marine ecosystems resulting from various kinds of human activities has led to a number of global and regional international initiatives and conventions. Most prominent for northern European Seas are the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Helsinki Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea, the OSPAR Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic, and the Birds and Habitats Directives of the EU.
The fundamental goals of marine nature conservation can be described as to conserve, protect, restore and manage:
  • the functioning of marine ecosystems and their services;
  • the regenerative capacity of natural resources and their sustained availability for human use;
  • natural diversity, population dynamics, density and age structure of marine fauna and flora;
  • intact and diverse natural marine habitats and biotopes; and
  • the characteristic features and beauty of nature and viewscapes.
These conservation objectives can only be achieved if human activities affecting our oceans and seas were conducted by applying six key principles:
the precautionary principle;
best environmental practices (BEP);
best available technologies (BAT);
the polluter-pays principle;
the compensation or substitution principle; and
the avoidance principle.
Further, the ecosystem approach to the management of human activities as has been clarified by the Helsinki- and the OSPAR Conventions should always be applied.
Probably the most effective measure to achieve substantial marine conservation is to establish coherent networks of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) at regional and global levels. This needs to be complemented by general habitats and species protection and enhancement, as well as by undiminished efforts to reduce unsustainable extraction of natural resources, to minimize eutrophication and pollution and to hinder new discharges to the seas. Red lists of threatened, endangered and/or declining species, habitats or biotopes would help assess the status of marine biodiversity, the effects of human activities, and the possible success of interventions.
This paper describes the most relevant international conventions and regulations with respect to marine nature conservation of the seas in Northern Europe (North East Atlantic and Baltic Sea). The current implementation status of conservation measures and specifically of MPAs and some next steps are also outlined.
Henning von Nordheim, Dieter Boedeker, Jochen C. Krause

Chapter 2. Marine Protected Areas in the EEZ in light of international and European Community law — Legal basis and aspects of implementation

At the international level, Articles 192, 194, and 56(1)(b)(iii) of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) oblige the coastal States to protect the marine environment in their own Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs). The measures required under international law also include the establishment of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Regulations in MPAs must be based on the sovereign rights and jurisdictions given to the coastal States by UNCLOS. Admissible restrictions concern most forms of economic uses such as all kinds of installations, the exploration and exploitation of the living and non-living resources in the water, seabed and subsoil. Marine scientific research is also covered by such restrictions, but not navigation, overflight and military use. Specifications of this rather general obligation derive from regional or global international environmental law.
The habitat protection directives under European Community legislation are legally enforceable and sanctions-implying obligations to carry out site protection. In the framework of the sovereign rights and jurisdictions that UNCLOS assigns to the Member States, the latter are obliged by the directives to establish even in their EEZs the coherent ecological network of protected areas known as NATURA 2000. The selection of the sites follows exclusively technical and scientific criteria. The protection system substantially follows Articles 6(2), 6(3), 6(4) and 7 of the Habitats Directive (HD). In accordance with these provisions, plans and projects which may adversely affect the site shall only be agreed to if, in light of the precautionary principle, no reasonable scientific doubt remains as to the absence of such effects. Possible exceptions must strictly follow the provisions under Articles 6(3) and 6(4) of the HD. Protection does not only have to be guaranteed at the time when an authorisation or licence is granted, but permanently.
In Germany, site protection in the EEZ is implemented through Article 38 of the Federal Nature Conservation Act (BNatSchG) and in the form of relevant statutory ordinances on protected areas. Although Article 38(1)(3) BNatSchG refers to the EU legislation, Germany is responsible for the regulation of fisheries within the MPAs. This is because Member States are responsible for issuing site-related protection provisions — even if these have side effects on fishery — when fulfilling their protection obligation under Article 6 HD and Article 4 of the Birds Directive (BD). Based on Article 6 EC Treaty, the Community can also take measures under the Common Fisheries Policy to support the Member States in their efforts to protect species and habitats in their NATURA 2000 sites (e.g., protection of the Darwin Mounds). Thus, the Council of the EU can adopt measures with nature conservation effects, but it can never supersede the Member State in their own responsibility. The restrictions under Articles 38(1)(4) and 38(1)(5) BNatSchG rule out the possibility of abstract and general prohibitions of projects mentioned in that Article (prospecting and extraction of mineral resources, windmills, etc.) but not the duty to carry out an impact assessment. Statutory ordinances with regard to protected areas in the EEZ are to be implemented by use of management plans under the responsibility of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN).
Detlef Czybulka, Thomas Bosecke

Site selection procedure

Chapter 3. Interpretation, identification and ecological assessment of the NATURA 2000 habitats “sandbank” and “reef”

In the German Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the marine natural habitats reefs (NATURA 2000 code 1170) and sandbanks which are slightly covered by sea water all the time (1110) are found throughout the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. They serve several important functions, such as offering protection for rare and threatened species, as well as hosting important and threatened biotopes. Both habitat types occur in nearshore coastal waters as well as in offshore waters. Calculations show that with around 79% of all German North Sea sandbank habitats and with ca. 61% of those in the Baltic Sea, the majority of this habitat is situated in offshore waters of the German EEZ and the minority in the coastal waters of the Territorial Sea. The same situation applies for reefs in the North Sea (ca. 53% in the EEZ), whereas the majority of Baltic Sea reefs is situated closer to the coast (73% in the Territorial Sea). A great portion of the German EEZ sandbank habitats (64% North Sea, 99% Baltic Sea) and reef habitats (73% North Sea, 57% Baltic Sea) are included in the German offshore NATURA 2000 site nominations.
Dieter Boedeker, Jochen C. Krause, Henning von Nordheim

Chapter 4. Rationale behind site selection for the NATURA 2000 network in the German EEZ

In the offshore waters of the European Seas, the selection of NATURA 2000 sites has only recently started. The guidelines for this process are still being developed by a Marine Expert Working Group under the umbrella of the European Commission. In 2002, following the adoption of the new German Federal Nature Conservation Act (Bundesnaturschutzgesetz), a relevant survey programme of the German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation with the title HabitatMareNATURA2000 started. Its purpose was to identify, locate and assess Annex I habitats and Annex II species of the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC), and Annex I-bird species as well as regularly occurring migratory birds of the Birds Directive (79/409/EEC) in the offshore area of the German North Sea and Baltic Sea. The present chapter outlines how scientific conclusions (summarised in the more technical chapters of parts III and IV of this book) were used for this task in the German Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). For habitats and species, the selection process itself was performed according to the criteria given in Annex III (so-called stage I criteria) of the Habitats Directive and according to Article 4 of the Birds Directive, respectively. As a result of this programme, Germany nominated to the European Commission in 2004 a comprehensive set of ten new marine NATURA 2000 sites in the German EEZ of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea: eight under the Habitats Directive and two under the Birds Directive. It was the first Member State to do so. Short descriptions of the habitats and species of each site are given in this chapter. In total, 31.5% (1,040,783 hectares) of the German EEZ is now covered by NATURA 2000 sites. This shows that despite many commonly recognised obstacles (i.e., limited information on sea-bottom habitats and communities, or missing necessary scientific research programmes to fill knowledge gaps), it was possible to select and nominate sites in offshore areas which fulfil the quality objectives of the European Nature Directives. However, the overall conservation value of the selected Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) within the EU still depends on the collective efforts of all Member States and, particularly, on the implementation of effective management plans.
Jochen C. Krause, Dieter Boedeker, Ina Backhausen, Kathrin Heinicke, Annette Groß, Henning von Nordheim

Identification and assessments of habitats

Chapter 5. Identification of submarine banks in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea with the aid of TIN modelling

This research project was conducted by the consultant ARGUMENT to develop an intersubjectively-revisable method for the identification and demarcation of sublittoral banks in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea by means of morphometric methods. This was done with the aid of TIN modelling and GIS-supported three-dimensional analysis of bathymetric data.
Three main steps were taken:
  • collecting morphometric data and examining them vis-à-vis the aim stated above;
  • developing a useful morphometric definition of marine banks which can be applied to the available set of data;
  • determining and recording the distinguishing features of subtypes of marine banks in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea.
The following results were achieved:
A morphometric definition for marine banks could be developed and accordingly, identifications and demarcations of banks were possible, as long as a small window of opportunity was left open for the scientist’s own decisions. In this regard, the density of data was a decisive criterion for the identification and demarcation of marine banks. As results, 20 marine banks were identified in the North Sea, and 63 in the Baltic Sea.
Andreas Klein

Chapter 6. Identification of submarine hard-bottom substrates in the German North Sea and Baltic Sea EEZ with high-resolution acoustic seafloor imaging

Submarine hard bottoms (e.g., boulders, outcropping strata) are of particular ecological importance. They were investigated in the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) of the German North Sea and the Baltic Sea, using high-resolution seafloor imaging techniques (i.e., sidescan sonar and multibeam echosounder). Examples are shown from the research areas Sylt Outer Reef (Sylter Außenriff; North Sea), Kadet Trench (Kadetrinne), and Adler Ground (Adlergrund) (both in the Baltic Sea). There exist distinct differences between the two continental shelf seas regarding the distribution of boulders and the density (percent coverage) of boulders per unit seafloor. The observed differences are attributed to (a) different geological evolution of the seafloor, and (b) different forcing by waves, tides and currents, which are responsible for the redistribution of sediments.
Markus Diesing, Klaus Schwarzer

Chapter 7. Search for particularly valuable benthic areas within the German North Sea EEZ

Following an extensive bottom animal (zoobenthos) sampling expedition in early summer 2000, nine different faunal assemblages (communities) have been identified in the sublittoral offshore waters from the North of the Doggerbank to the inner parts of the German Bight (Deutsche Bucht). The characteristics of these communities are presented, and their specific values for protection measures are indicated. Special attention is given to complex biotope areas where rare species and rich mosaics of communities occur. Since many of these areas fulfil the ecological criteria for sandbank and stone reef habitats of the European Habitats Directive, they have been proposed for site protection (see figure 1 in chapter 4).
Eike Rachor

Chapter 8. Benthic assessment of marine areas of particular ecological importance within the German Baltic Sea EEZ

The Habitats Directive is one of the main legal tools of the European Union to preserve biodiversity by maintaining and restoring natural habitats, and establishing a network of protected sites (NATURA 2000). One point of interest is the characterisation of marine habitats to localise the areas that fulfil the protection targets. Of the habitats listed in Annex I of the Habitats Directive, mainly reefs and sandbanks are relevant in the case of German Baltic offshore waters. Along a strong salinity gradient (5 to 25 psu), four planned offshore Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) within the German Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Baltic Sea were thoroughly investigated in this study. More than 250 locations were analysed using a combination of standard sampling methods, underwater video technique, and measurement of abiotic factors (salinity, oxygen, sediment parameters). The areas of interest were the Odra Bank (Oderbank), Adler Ground (Adlergrund), Kadet Trench (Kadetrinne), and Fehmarn Belt (Fehmarnbelt). The characteristic living communities (macrophytes, such as algae and sea grass, and macrozoobenthos such as worms, bivalves and crustaceans) for the different habitat types in these areas were characterised. Due to different salinity regimes, the benthic colonisation is different as well. In the Baltic Sea, with its decreasing salinity from west to east, the number of marine species declines, too. In the present study, altogether approximately 350 macrozoobenthic species and approximately 20 macrophytes were identified.
Michael L. Zettlera, Fritz Gosselckb

Identification and assessments of sites — fish, mammals and birds

Chapter 9. Survey of NATURA 2000 fish species in the German North and Baltic Seas

Due to their limited salinity tolerance, the occurrence of freshwater Annex II-fish species such as asp (Aspius aspius), spined loach (Cobitis taenia), bullhead (Cottus gobio), weatherfish (Misgurnus fossilis), bitterling (Rhodeus amarus), and ziege (Pelecus cultratus) was found to be restricted to freshwater and oligohaline-mesohaline habitats (i.e., areas with relatively low salinities), especially in the coastal waters of the German Baltic areas.
Mainly anadromous Annex II-fish species such as sturgeon (Acipencer spec.), North Sea houting (Coregonus oxyrinchus), river lamprey (Lampetra fluviatilis), sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus), allis shad (Alosa alosa), and twaite shad (Alosa fallax) were expected to occur in the German parts of the North Sea and Baltic Sea. However, Acipenser sturio, a species of sturgeon, is considered extinct as a reproductive species in the North Sea region, and the sturgeon species last recorded in individual catches in the Baltic Sea in the 1990s is A. oxyrinchus.
At present, the North Sea houting is very rare in the North Sea, while the Baltic houting population (Coregonus maraena) is not protected under the Habitats Directive.
Since 1978, a total of 178 records of lampreys have been obtained in the German North Sea areas. Most of the lamprey records (mainly river lampreys) were located in nearshore areas, especially between Helgoland Island and the mouth of the Elbe and Weser estuaries. Recently, 81 individuals of river lamprey and 4 individuals of sea lamprey were recorded in German Baltic waters from 2000 to 2004.
Today the main distribution range of allis shad is restricted to the Atlantic coasts of France and Portugal. The record of allis shad in the Strelasund in 1998 was the only specimen of this species caught in German Baltic waters during the last 20 years. Therefore, the species is expected to occur only accidentally in the German waters of the North and Baltic Seas.
In contrast, within the German coastal waters (12-nautical mile zone) of the North Sea, there were high-density areas of twaite shad. In total, 6,052 individuals of twaite shad have been caught in the German Bight (Deutsche Bucht) since 1978. Since 1995, however, the catch effort and the percentage of stations with twaite shad records have increased and, in general, there have been more records of this species in the German coastal waters than in the German Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
From May 2003 until November 2004, 38 individuals of twaite shad were found at 14 different locations in the German EEZ of the Baltic Sea, northeast of the Rügen Island, as well as in the Pommeranian Bay (Pommersche Bucht) and the Szczecin Lagoon (Stettiner Haff) and its adjacent waters. Fifty percent (50%) of the total twaite shad records originated from the Szczecin Lagoon and adjacent waters. All of them were adult individuals. In the Odra Bank (Oderbank) and in the coastal waters of the Usedom Island, only juvenile individuals of age group 0 were caught; this amounted to 19% of the total number of records. Thirtyone percent (31%) of all individuals of twaite shad (mainly adults) were recorded from the potential Site of Community Interest (pSCI) Western Rønne Bank (Westliche Rönnebank) and adjacent waters. Given the recent records from the German Baltic waters, it is assumed that, after about 50 years of decline, the Baltic population of twaite shad has been increasing since the middle of the 1990s.
The observed status of the populations of Annex II-fish species in the German waters of the Baltic Sea and North Sea indicate that the study of their distribution and the trends in their population development must be continued on the basis of an international cooperation, especially with the new EU Member States of the southern Baltic.
Ralf Thiel, Ina Backhausen

Chapter 10. Utilisation of time and space by harbour seals (Phoca vitulina vitulina) determined by new remote-sensing methods

Seals in the Wadden Sea are easy to study and count when they are exposed at haulout sites. However, our knowledge of seal activity at sea is limited. Consequently, in spring and autumn of 2002 and 2003, we equipped 19 seals with a logger/PTT-combined system to record at 15-second intervals, swim speed and direction, dive depths, water temperature and water turbidity. After a predefined time, the devices were automatically released to be washed ashore, where they could be located by satellite signal or found by beach walkers. The stored data showed that the seals did not forage in the Wadden Sea, but travelled to specific hot spots in the North Sea where they foraged on benthic prey1, usually for several days, before returning straight back to their sandbank. Animals almost always dived to the seabed during both commuting and foraging. However, the dive profile was more irregular in the Wadden Sea compared to the deeper North Sea where the diving pattern was very regular, particularly with respect to depth and duration. Seals in the Wadden Sea not only rested on land at their haulout spots but also slept in the water, sinking down to the seafloor where they lay motionless for around 7 minutes, surfacing only for a short period to breathe before sinking back again. In deeper water (over 10 metres deep), the seals rested for up to 50 minutes at the surface, apparently drifting and showing no diving activity.
Nikolai Liebsch, Rory Paul Wilson, Dieter Adelung

Chapter 11. Evaluating the distribution and density of harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in selected areas in German waters

The harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) is a small cetacean species occurring both in the German North Sea and Baltic Sea. In the process of designating marine protected areas in the framework of the European Habitats Directive (NATURA 2000), the German Federal Agency of Nature Conservation (BfN) identified candidate areas to be eventually proposed as Sites of Community Importance (pSCI). To evaluate the importance of these sites for harbour porpoises, their distribution and density were studied by conducting aerial surveys in the sites from May 2002 to September 2003 (further surveys are ongoing). Densities in the study areas were compared between study years as well as between the selected areas. The relative importance of sites was assessed by taking into account the overall distribution of porpoises in German waters. Surveys followed the standard line-transect methodology for aerial surveys. Only summer flights in the period from May to August were used for further analysis since the coverage by flights in autumn and winter was very low due to unfavourable weather conditions. In the German North Sea, 338 sightings of porpoise groups (440 individuals in total) were recorded in the summer of 2002, and 656 sightings (812 individuals in total) in the summer of 2003. In the Baltic Sea, sighting numbers in the same period were much smaller: 50 sightings (110 individuals) in 2002 and 34 sightings (43 individuals) in 2003. The main results showed clear aggregations and high densities of porpoises in the areas off the North Friesian islands of Sylt and Amrum, where there are high concentrations of the species in the summer months, which is their reproduction period. There seems to be a sharp gradient of density running from north to south. The highest density in both years was found in the study area Sylt Outer Reef (Sylter Außenriff), followed by the Doggerbank. Lowest densities were calculated for Borkum Reef Ground (Borkum-Riffgrund). The mean density did not differ significantly between study years in the same area. Harbour porpoise distribution in the Baltic Sea showed higher densities in the western part, namely in the Kiel Bight (Kieler Bucht) and Flensburg Fjord (Flensburger Förde), and in the eastern part close to the border of Poland. But all sightings east of the island of Rügen (study area Pommeranian Bay (Pommersche Bucht)) were only made in 2002. Thus, there is an enormous variation in the presence of habour porpoise in this area between the years. Currently surveys continue to determine how this area is used by harbour porpoises. Besides this, a clear west-east gradient in harbour porpoise density could be ascertained. The other two Baltic Sea study areas Fehmarn Belt (Fehmarnbelt) and Kadet Trench (Kadetrinne) are also used by porpoises, especially the area around the island of Fehmarn, but due to the small sizes of the areas additional investigation methods are applied, such as stationary acoustics (see chapter 12).
Meike Scheidat, Anita Gilles, Ursula Siebert

Chapter 12. Seasonal and geographical variation of harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) habitat use in the German Baltic Sea monitored by passive acoustic methods (PODs)

Harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) were known to be common in the Baltic Sea. In the past several decades, the abundance and distribution has decreased, leading to national and international agreements on the protection of this species. Plans for offshore windmill constructions and proposals for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) to implement NATURA 2000, led to an increased research effort on the harbour porpoise in the German Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) of the North and Baltic Sea. Within this scope, the harbour porpoise habitat use of the German Baltic Sea from Fehmarn to the Pommeranian Bay (Pommersche Bucht) was investigated with the help of self-contained submersible data logger (Porpoise detectors, T-PODs), which register harbour porpoise echolocation click trains.
Comparison of the T-POD data from different measuring stations located throughout the Baltic Sea revealed a decrease of porpoise registrations from the west of the island of Fehmarn to the east of the island of Rügen. Seasonal variation of habitat use, and therefore of relative porpoise density, was seen around the island of Fehmarn and the Kadet Trench (Kadetrinne), with many days of porpoise registrations in the summer and fewer registration days in the winter months.
The results prove the regular use of the western part of the German EEZ of the Baltic Sea by harbour porpoises from Fehmarn to the Kadet Trench including adjacent coastal waters. The low amount of porpoise registrations east of the Darss Sill (Darsser Schwelle) allows the assumption of a low harbour porpoise density in the eastern part of the German Baltic Sea. Furthermore, a clear seasonal variation in the amount of porpoise registration proves porpoise migration out of the western part of the German Baltic Sea in wintertime.
Ursula K. Verfuß, Christopher G. Honnef, Harald Benke

Chapter 13. Identification of areas of seabird concentrations in the German North Sea and Baltic Sea using aerial and ship-based surveys

This paper gives a brief overview of the field methods used to study the distribution of seabirds at sea in the German parts of the North and Baltic Seas. It demonstrates how the data were analysed, how seabird concentrations may be delineated, and how suggestions for protected areas were derived from the data.
Seabird distribution was studied by transect counts from ships and aircraft. Species distribution maps produced from these data are based on densities. The distribution of widely dispersed species, e.g., lesser black-backed gull (Larus fuscus) and northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis), were analysed using grid maps. For species occurring in concentrations, a spatial interpolation procedure using ordinary kriging was adopted. Examples of distributions and maps are given for long-tailed duck (Clangula hyemalis; Baltic Sea), common eider (Somateria mollissima; Baltic Sea) and red-throated and black-throated divers (Gavia stellata and G. arctica; North Sea). For all specially important species (i.e., species listed in Annex I of the EU Birds Directive that should be the subject of special conservation measures, e.g., red-throated diver and sandwich tern Sterna paradisaea), concentration areas were identified and subsequently combined so that a set of potential areas for conservation could be determined. From this map, potential Special Protection Areas (SPAs) were established.
Finally, this paper briefly discusses field methods and methods of analysis and gives further recommendations.
Stefan Garthe

Chapter 14. The MINOS project: ecological assessments of possible impacts of offshore wind energy projects

The joint research project MINOS examines whether large-scale offshore wind farms within the German parts of the North and Baltic Seas affect or endanger harbour porpoises, common seals, and seabirds. The research results are expected to provide the basis for estimating and assessing the impacts of future wind farms. MINOS focuses on two items: recording the preferential habitats and migratory routes of these animals in the EEZ, and investigating the sensitivity of porpoises and seals to sound, in order to assess possible damage, displacement and disturbance. When evaluating overall impacts to these animals, any expected impact of offshore wind farms must be considered in the context of already existing stressors.
The goal of the research is not to prevent or to hamper wind farming, but to provide a profound and reproducible knowledge basis for assessment in order to facilitate the development of sustainable power generation. This decision will not be taken by biologists or geologists, but by authorities or in court.
Since harbour porpoises have an ultrasonic location system (like bats), they are very sensitive to underwater noise. The noise produced during the construction and operation of offshore wind turbines, could cause behavioural changes or even physical harm to these animals. Such disturbances could displace the porpoises from their feeding and breeding habitats or otherwise reduce their fitness due to higher stress. Similar effects could also be expected to apply to common seals. Preliminary results indicate that harbour porpoises and common seals avoid sources that emit sounds similar to that of wind turbines.
With regard to seabirds, MINOS has focused on divers and sea ducks, which have important wintering grounds in the North and Baltic Seas within the German EEZ. The construction of offshore wind farms within these areas should be assessed with regard to possible detrimental consequences caused by the loss or interruption of diver and sea duck resting and feeding habitats.
MINOS has also developed and expanded upon research and evaluation methods for future use in monitoring programmes. Resting seabirds and harbour porpoises were counted using low altitude aerial transect surveys. Complex mathematical modelling was used to estimate the abundance of animals. Similarly, ship surveys were also carried out. Telemetry was used to record spatial activity patterns of seals. Hearing tests were carried out with free-ranging porpoises and seals and their conspecifics in captivity. Finally, porpoise detectors (POD) were employed to detect the presence of porpoises in the vicinity. These detectors can function for several weeks, but cannot determine the relative number of animals; nonetheless, they provide important additional results to the numbers gained through airborne and at-sea surveys.
The above-described research has been conducted in seven separate subprojects, integrated into the MINOS-project and its successor, MINOSplus (see chapters 10, 11, 12 and 13). All projects were funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.
Adolf Kellermann, Kai Eskildsen, Barbara Frank

Public awareness and consultation

Chapter 15. Consultation and public involvement

The amendment to the German Federal Nature Conservation Act (BNatSchG) in April 2002 established a national legal framework for the implementation of the European Birds Directive and the Habitats Directive beyond Territorial Waters into the German Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Responsibility for the selection, designation and management of these marine NATURA 2000 areas lies with the Federal Government. In selecting the protected areas in accordance with Article 38(2) of the German Federal Nature Conservation Act, the Federal Environment Ministry consults relevant Federal ministries from the adjacent coastal Länder as well as the general public. The proposed areas were listed and mapped on the Internet under The list was also published through newspaper advertisements and press releases in November 2003. These initiated the participation process of the public. Each citizen had the opportunity to submit a written comment or to contribute to the expert debate in public. For that purpose, three public hearing dates were held in the coastal Länder in December 2003. The federal ministries were involved in 2003 and once again involved from the beginning of 2004. The final proposals for NATURA 2000 sites (proposed Sites of Community Importance, pSCIs) were submitted to the European Commission in May 2004.
Annika Wallaschek

Chapter 16. Raising public awareness — “”

Parallel to the selection and nomination process of the marine NATURA 2000 sites, a presentation concept for increasing public awareness was developed and implemented. This was the research project “developing and implementing a presentation concept to increase public awareness”. Starting in late summer 2002, four different products for conveying information were designed:
  • a booklet (initially in German, also in English at a later date)
  • a video (German and English)
  • a website (initially in German, also in English at a later date)
  • an interactive CD-Rom.
These four products were developed almost at the same time, but they were published in two phases with slightly differing goals and target groups, depending on the status of the nomination procedure. Initially, the video, the website and the booklet were prepared. Their publication date was June 2003 at the joint ministerial meeting of the Helsinki and OSPAR Commissions with the Baltic and North Sea riparian states in Bremen. The interactive CD-Rom will be published in the second half of 2005.
All products confirm under the main title and name HabitatMareNATURA2000. The initial subheading, “Research for protection of the North and Baltic Seas”, was updated in summer 2004 to “Research and protection for the North Sea and Baltic Sea”, according to the nomination procedure of the protected areas.
Katrin Wollny-Goerke


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