Protected areas for seabirds in German offshore waters: Designation, retrospective consideration and current perspectives.

Garthe, Stefan, Markones, Nele, Mendel, Bettina, Sonntag, Nicole and Krause, Jochen C. (2012) Protected areas for seabirds in German offshore waters: Designation, retrospective consideration and current perspectives. Biological Conservation, 156 . pp. 126-135. DOI 10.1016/j.biocon.2011.12.002.

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Abstract

Here, we discuss the scientific rationale behind the identification and selection of marine protected areas (MPAs) for birds in the German Exclusive Economic Zones of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, based on the European Union (EU) Birds Directive. Seabird distributions were determined using internationally standardised transect counts from ships and aircraft. Their distributions were analysed using geostatistical interpolation methods to derive concentration areas for each species. Two Special Protection Areas (SPAs) were proposed based on the distributions of all species. These were subsequently evaluated by the relevant nature conservation authorities and finally designated by the Federal Environmental Ministry. Long-term data on seabird abundance and distribution collected during and after the SPA designation process revealed the same major concentration areas as in the preceding years, indicating that the overall observed patterns were stable and reproducible, despite small-scale spatial and inter-annual variations. The designation concepts provided by the EU Birds Directive thus appear to be suitable for the appropriate designation of MPAs for birds in offshore waters. However, adequate management tools for European offshore MPAs for birds, e.g. the regulation of fisheries and shipping, still remain to be developed and implemented.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Marine protected area, Birds Directive, Seabird, Distribution, Site selection, Management
Research affiliation: Kiel University
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.biocon.2011.12.002
ISSN: 0006-3207
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 14 May 2014 10:08
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 21:57
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/23988

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