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Een blik op zee: Biodiversiteit en bescherming van het mariene leven in het Belgisch deel van de Noordzee
Vanaverbeke, J.; Degraer, S.; Haelters, J.; Kerckhof, F.; Seys, J.; Van Hoey, G.; Vandendriessche, S.; Vandepitte, L. (2020). Een blik op zee: Biodiversiteit en bescherming van het mariene leven in het Belgisch deel van de Noordzee. Natuur.Focus 19(2): 86-95
In: Natuur.Focus. Natuurpunt: Mechelen.
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee: Open access 347398 [ download pdf ]

Authors  Top 
  • Vanaverbeke, J.
  • Degraer, S.
  • Haelters, J.
  • Kerckhof, F.
  • Seys, J.
  • Van Hoey, G.
  • Vandendriessche, S.
  • Vandepitte, L.

Abstract
    The Belgian part of the North Sea is a small but unique part of theSouthern North Sea, as it is characterised by a high habitat diversity.Historically the combination of mobile sands, sandbanks and gravelbeds harboured rich and diverse communities, encompassing oysterbeds, a rich gravel bed fauna and fish communities that were abundantlypresent. The present situation is different, as the gravel and oysterhabitats have (almost) disappeared due to bottom trawling activities. Inaddition to bottom trawling, the marine ecosystem of the Belgian partof the North Sea has been exposed to a multitude of pressures related tomany human activities, which can be both located at sea (i.e. offshorewind farming) or find their origin on land (i.e. eutrophication). Whilelegislation exists and measures are taken to protect the biodiversityand the functioning of the marine ecosystem, they regulate local activities but do not act on the exposure of the marine ecosystem to global changes (sea surface temperature warming, ocean acidification). Future initiatives to strengthen the impoverished communities in the Belgian part of the North Sea can include decreasing fishing pressure and the delineation of no-take zones. In addition future offshore windfarms can be installed according to a nature-inclusive design, to create habitat for native species whose natural habitat has been reduced or degraded.

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