Policies and regulations

Attention for the economic importance of the North Sea is rising. In addition to the existing and sometimes centuries old uses such as shipping and fishing, innovative new uses are emerging, e.g. energy generation and marine aquaculture. At the same time, the need to further improve the environment of the North Sea and to maintain and recover the ecological system increases.

Government policy for the Dutch part of the North Sea aims to merge all these interests:

  • by balancing use and ecological capacity
  • by arranging the available space efficiently and effectively based on a framework vision and direction
  • by requiring sustainability from all uses.

Management and use North Sea

The implementation of this policy is the work of human beings. It involves several ministries and around two hundred and fifty organisations and institutions. In practice, they are guided by the regulations for the management and use of the North Sea. This set of instruments consists of laws, covenants, treaties and EU regulations. In terms of management, the North Sea policy has been elaborated in the Integrated North Sea Management Plan 2015 (revised publication in 2011). (pdf, 541 kB)