Fisheries

Voluntary protection of harbour porpoises and diving ducks in the Baltic

Voluntary protection of harbour porpoises and diving ducks in the Baltic

Voluntary protection of harbour porpoises and diving ducks in the Baltic

17/12/2018

Our story this month is on a conservation project off the coast of Schleswig-Holstein, in Germany, financed through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). The project is helping to support local fishermen, ecologists and administrative bodies in adopting measures to protect harbour porpoises and diving ducks.

Both species have been affected by bycatches in the region, and gillnet fishing has been identified as the main cause of death amongst porpoises washed up on the beach. The project brings people together to identify and put a solution in place. 240 local fishermen out of about 300 active in the area are taking part. They are now using shorter gillnets during summer months and avoiding areas with many diving ducks in winter. Both these measures were judged by scientists to be suitable ways to protect the two marine species. The project is running between 2016 and 2019 and is supported by EU funding of around €400,000.

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Voluntary protection of harbour porpoises and diving ducks in the Baltic