Current BfN monitoring programmes
for Natura 2000 reporting in the North Sea and Baltic Sea EEZ
In the 2008/2009 reporting period, BfN commissioned the University of Kiel West Coast Research and Technology Centre (FTZ) with a project to test Natura 2000 monitoring of harbour porpoise and sea birds.
Harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena)
Monitoring requirements under the Habitats Directive (Annex II), OSPAR, HELCOM, ASCOBANS and MSFD
Harbour porpoise are censused offshore in flight transect surveys. In areas of low population density, the cetaceans are surveyed using fixed underwater porpoise click detectors. Aerial surveys of the entire North Sea and western Baltic Sea are planned at larger intervals for annual monitoring of areas that are important for the breeding and rearing of harbour porpoise. The eastern Baltic Sea, which is home to a very sparse genetically isolated harbour porpoise subpopulation, is to be monitored with a network of porpoise click detectors.
Harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) breaking the surface.
Chart: Map of the current flight survey transect design for the North Sea and Baltic Sea EEZ and coastal waters, additionally showing locations of porpoise click detectors in the Baltic Sea.
Monitoring requirements under the Birds Directive, OSPAR, HELCOM and MSFD
Important offshore sea bird resting areas and migration routes in the North Sea and Baltic Sea are monitored using aerial and vessel-based transect surveys. The current programme is restricted to the monitoring of divers, little gulls, guillemots, razorbills and sea ducks. Vessel-based surveys are needed in representative areas to tell apart similar species such as divers and some sea ducks.
Greater black-backed gull (Larus marinus)
Chart: Map of the current flight survey transect design for the North Sea and the Baltic Sea.
Benthic organisms and habitat types
Monitoring requirements under the Habitats Directive, OSPAR, HELCOM and MSFD
Benthic habitat types in the EEZ are subject to monitoring since 2009 after harmonization of the programme with the coastal German ‘Länder’. The monitoring covers three habitat types: sandbanks, reefs, and inlets and bays.
A BfN project on the implementation of monitoring for fish, marine mammals, seabirds and marine habitat types has been carried out by Bioconsult SH. The report is available for viewing here:
Edible crab (Cancer pagurus)