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Dogger Bank SAC


Transcript of the Dogger Bank video

The Dogger Bank – with 18,000 km2 of sand the biggest sandbank in the North Sea – might look relatively featureless, but in fact it is home to an abundant diversity of life forms. From rich plankton in the open water to barely millimetre-sized animals occupying cavities in the sandy bottom, severely endangered snail species, echinoderms and crustaceans to the many fish and threatened marine mammal species, at Dogger Bank, the interplay of fauna within the marine food web is on full display.


Fakten zur Doggerbank (FFH-Gebiet)
(In German)
Dogger Bank
EU-Code: DE 1003-301
(In German)
Coordinate of Centroid:
4°10’00" E 55°35’00" N
Habitat types Sandbanks 1.624 km²
Species/Population Harbour porpoise
(Phocoena phocoena)    
501-1.000
Common seal
(Phoca vitulina)
Foraging visitor, no current population statistics

The unique Dogger Bank sandbank

The interstitial fauna of the Dogger Bank: A snail in the sand. Photo: BfN
Photo: The interstitial fauna of the Dogger Bank: A snail in the sand. Photo: BfN
Photo: Red whelk (Neptunea antiqua) on Dogger Bank. Photo: BfN
Photo: Red whelk (Neptunea antiqua) on Dogger Bank. Photo: BfN

The German part of this unique sandbank covers 1,624 km2 and comprises the receding flanks from depths of 29 m to about 40 m. The entire site is nominated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) under the Habitats Directive in line with the sandbank habitat listed in Annex I of the Directive. It is a characteristic sandbank with mostly fine sands containing many shell fragments and is representative of the open offshore sublittoral zone.

Located in the central North Sea at a meeting point of different water masses, Dogger Bank is a biogeographical divide with cold-adapted benthic species to the north and life forms preferring more temperate waters to the south. Sandy areas of the site are colonised by a special offshore form of a community of fine sand and sea floor species, the Bathyporeia-Fabulina (amphipod-tellin) community. Some 38 species on the German Red Lists have so far been recorded in the Dogger Bank area.

Special circulatory patterns such as vortices and the relatively shallow depth of Dogger Bank result in high biological production levels at depths reaching as far as the sea floor. This provides good growth conditions for fish populations and a food source for foragers such as sea birds and marine mammals.

Harbour porpoises and common seals have been sighted at Dogger Bank, although because of lacking data the latter can currently only be considered a visiting species. The harbour porpoises sighted in airborne censuses – some of them even with calves – may be part of the British subpopulation.

 

Conservation objectives

General conservation objectives have been set as follows for the sandbank habitat type by which the site is defined, and for harbour porpoise and common seal as species requiring special protection:

  • Maintenance and restoration of the site’s specific ecological functions, biological diversity and natural hydrodynamics and morphodynamics
  • Maintenance and restoration at favourable conservation status of habitat type Code: 1110 (sandbanks which are slightly covered by sea water all the time) together with its characteristic and endangered ecological communities and species
  • Maintenance and restoration at favourable conservation status of the following Habitats Directive species and their natural habitats: Harbour porpoise and common seal

Spiny dogfish (Scualus acanthias) in the North Sea. Photo: S. Gust
Photo: Spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias) in the North Sea. Photo: S. Gust
Harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena). Photo: K. Wollny-Goerke
Photo: Harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena). Photo: K. Wollny-Goerke

Natura 2000 sites in the German North Sea EEZ:

 

North sea

Dogger Bank

Sylt Outer Reef

Borkum Reef Ground

Eastern German Bight

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