Harbour porpoise conservation and governance in the German North Sea


Marine ecosystems and biodiversity are embedded in complex social-ecological systems and in the North Sea, they are under extreme anthropogenic pressure from cumulative uses such as fishing, maritime transport, offshore windfarms etc leading to habitat destruction. The increasing industrialization of the North Sea profoundly changes environmental conditions and challenges current processes of marine spatial planning. This results in trade-offs between conservation and use, and particularly impacts marine mammals with migratory routes. Although special protection in the form of protected areas is in place for the only endemic whale species in the North Sea, the harbour porpoise (Phocoena Phocoena), its abundance is declining and their distribution shifting, which necessitates the urgent need for a transformative shift towards more effective conservation governance arrangements. In this presentation, I will outline the current status of harbour porpoises in the North Sea, narrow down to the Whale Sanctuary (WS) in the German National Park Wadden Sea, show and discuss preliminary results of assessing the governance of the WS by applying the Marine Protected Area Governance framework (MPAG) and will present recommendations on how to improve conservation for harbour porpoises.

As always, the seminar takes place in the F6 big seminar room. The online link to the seminar is the following: https://uni-bremen.zoom.us/j/93546917122?pwd=K2k3Zm4rZFd1Wit3SFFlV3pieHprdz09