Responsible: Francois Bastardie DTU-Aqua, Denmark
The Baltic Sea’s southwest area is one of the most heavily used seas and divides itself among three exclusive economic zones (EEZ). Yet, the intensification of the human pressure in the area is ongoing from offshore wind farms development (offshore bank Kriegers Flak), intensification of traffic on commercial shipping lanes (Route T) and sites for sand and gravel extraction (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania), while conservation or recreational areas (NATURA 2000 framework) come into force.
These different utilizations call for the implementation of spatial management measures defining for each sector the preference or suitable areas that would minimize the overlaps, conflicts and negative impacts. The western Baltic sea is also a traditional place for numerous coastal fishermen for making a living and it is still unclear how and how much the coastal fisheries would be affected by the spatial restrictions on preferred fishing grounds or by impacts on ecologically important habitats. At the meantime, the risk for worsening the water eutrophication still limits the opportunities for the marine aquaculture (fish) production to develop in the area.
The western Baltic case study (BCS) will address all ECOAST objectives by conducting a cross-border socio-economic impact assessment of potential or ‘yet to be implemented’ fisheries restrictions and delineate locations and space limits that ensure certain levels of production to local fishers and farmers. The BCS will first collect the relevant spatial data (especially the most recently available and finest fishery and aquaculture data) and follow the methodologies defined in the generic WPs for mapping the suitable sites, synergies and conflicts between the utilization at stake, for rating the costs and benefits of Baltic-specific alternative coastal plans and displacement scenarios, to finally develop and align some recommendations for the Danish, German and Swedish national MSP processes for a better integration of fisheries and aquaculture in Baltic coastal areas.