The nature value to be protected
The nature value of the various sites in the North Sea will be protected. What the nature value is taken to mean may vary from site to site. The nature value may take the form of habitats or particular animal species.
At the North Sea sites listed below the habitats described in italics will be protected:
- North Sea Coastal Zone 1 and 2 and Vlakte van de Raan
Sandbanks which are slightly covered by sea water all the time North Sea Coastal Zone – H1110B
Sandbanks which are slightly covered by sea water all the time Dogger Bank – H1110C
Open-sea reefs– H1170
In addition to these habitats, particular animal species will also be protected. This might be due to the species’ protection under the Birds Directive. In this case the species spends at least some of its time at a Birds Directive site or SPA, such as the Frisian Front. A species might also be protected because it is a resident of a protected habitat type. When a habitat type is protected, so are its residents. Some sites, such as the North Sea Coastal Zone, are covered by both the Habitat Directive and the Birds Directive.
The government has based the decision to protect nature value on scientific research. The research of IMARES Wageningen UR, in particular, is playing an important role. The main report, the appendices report, the scientific grounds and recommendations for the conservation objectives are all described in the report entitled, Conservation Objectives for Natura 2000 sites (SACs and SPAs) in the Dutch sector of the North Sea. You will find this and other relevant reports in the download section of this website.