Dogger Bank

The Doggerbank is the largest sandbank in the North Sea, covering an area of about 18 000 km2. It belongs to the EEZs of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark. The German part of the Doggerbank only covers 1624 km2 and ranges from 29 to 40 m water depth (BfN, 2008b; Sell et al., 2011)⁠. Its habitat is classified as "sandbank with low permeant flooding by seawater" and divides two ecologically distinct southern and northern community types (Sell et al., 2011)⁠. It is an important habitat for endofauna adapted to substrate rearrangements, such as Bathyporaia-Fabulina communities (BfN, 2008b)⁠. 

The Doggerbank is an important stepping stone for different fauna elements throughout the North Sea  (Sell et al., 2011)⁠. It is an important foraging and reproduction ground for many fish species and therefore, an important foraging ground for seabirds and marine mammals such as harbour porpoises and seals. Additionally to these more frequent visitors, common minke whales, white-beaked and Atlantic white-sided dolphins have also been sighted at the Doggerbank (Sell et al., 2011)⁠. 

The whole area gets disturbed by four fishing events per year (Sell et al., 2011)⁠. The biggest negative effect comes from the Sea Beam fishery that targets flat fish such as European plaice and common dap. The fisheries exclusion could result in the recovery of benthic communities which in turn would lead to an increase in prey for many fish species. In addition, a recovery in fish stocks would also have a positive effect on marine mammal populations.