Berlin / Schwerin (dpa) – In the coming years, the effects of bottom trawling on protected areas in the North and Baltic Seas are to be examined. The work is coordinated by the German Marine Research Alliance (DAM), whose representatives held a kick-off event on Monday to discuss the priorities with politics, authorities, business and science. The DAM connects 19 German marine research institutions with the aim of strengthening the interaction with the coasts and seas through research. A period until March 2023 is planned for trawl research.
The background to this is that bottom trawls used to catch plaice, sole, cod or shrimp can cause considerable damage to the seabed and the communities living there. Therefore, at least in parts of the German and European marine protected areas, it should be excluded in the coming years, the DAM said.
First of all, the current environmental status in selected regions of the North and Baltic Seas will be analyzed as a reference. Then it is a matter of determining how, for example, communities develop without further disturbances. Such influences on marine protected areas have so far hardly been investigated and the results provide an important basis for the management of the protected areas in the North and Baltic Seas. “The German Marine Research Alliance has the potential to become one of the world’s largest and most successful marine research alliances,” said Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s Education Minister Bettina Martin (SPD).