We work in close cooperation and constant exchange with our sister project MGF-Ostsee, which started at the same time under the leadership of the Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde (project leader: Prof. Dr. Klaus Jürgens, coordinator: Dr. Christina Schmidt).
In regular, joint meetings, results from both projects are discussed in order to gain a comprehensive insight into the effects of mobile bottom-contact fishing in the North Sea and Baltic Sea ecosystems, to identify regional differences and to develop a monitoring concept that best captures the subsequent changes due to fisheries exclusion.
Similar to the Borkum Reef Ground, the Sylt Outer Reef, and the Dogger Bank, the national parks of the Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea are marine protected areas preserving natural biodiversity of species, processes and habitats.
Simultaneously, these areas are exposed to different anthropogenic stressors. To investigate the influences and impacts of these stressors on the environmental status of coastal ecosystems, the project iSeal “Trans- and interdisciplinary social-ecological network analysis based on long-term monitoring, experimental data and stakeholder’s assessment” investigates the effects of climate change, fisheries and invasive species in the Wadden Sea of Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein.
According to estimates, more than 1.6 million tons of munitions from the two World Wars are dumped in the German North and Baltic Seas.
The ecological and toxicological hazards that these munitions pose to the environment and humans cannot yet be assessed with adequate certainty. The fact is that they pose a risk to public safety, fisheries, tourism and maritime dredging and construction operations.
The aim of CONMAR is to combine existing and newly collected data, and to pool the expertise and knowledge of German marine research organisations, government agencies and the private sector. This will improve our scientific understanding of the role and impacts of munitions in the sea in order to recommend actions for monitoring and remediation in consultation with all stakeholders.
Multiple anthropogenic interventions in nearshore marine ecosystems are increasingly leading to conflicts of use that require trade-offs. Cumulative stressors, which include nutrient and other inputs from agriculture, renewable energy development, use of coastal waters for sediment capping, shipping, pollution, and tourism, must be considered here and often run counter to bindingly formulated marine conservation goals.
Accordingly, the project CREATE (Concepts for reducing the impacts of anthropogenic pressures and uses on marine ecosystems and biodiversity) aims to develop solution-oriented action knowledge to reduce the cumulative impacts of multiple uses on biodiversity in three real-world laboratories involving a broad group of stakeholders. To do this, bio-geo-physical data and modeling will be provided to improve coastal ecosystem assessment and management using the reallabs.
The future of the coast is characterised on the one hand by the consequences of climate change and on the other hand by a dramatic increase in the use of coastal space. As a consequence of climate change, nature-friendly coastal protection must be constantly expanded. CoastalFutures is developing innovative modeling tools to examine future use scenarios and climate change impacts.
Coastal fisheries in the Western Baltic Sea are under great pressure, with unforeseeable consequences for the economic development of the associated coastal communities. Anthropogenic influences such as overfishing of cod and herring, eutrophication of the Baltic Sea as well as climate change are major contributors. In addition, fisheries increasingly suffer from spatial conflicts for instance with necessary nature reserves to preserve biodiversity and wind farms to mitigate climate change. SpaCeParti provides a participative approach to navigate the Western Baltic Sea into a sustainable future.