Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Royal Netherlands
Institute for Sea Research

Wadden Mosaic | Fish

A bountiful and healthy Wadden Sea is an indispensable link in the life cycles of many migratory birds and fish. This is why the Wadden Fund and the three Wadden provinces – Groningen, Friesland and Noord-Holland – strive for the creation of such a rich Wadden Sea. To this end, the Wadden Fund granted a large subsidy to the ‘Wadden Mosaic’ project (Waddenmozaïek) by Natuurmonumenten, the University of Groningen and the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ). The aim of the project is to determine the condition of the underwater nature in the Wadden Sea and to test possible remedial measures.

The tub gurnard <i>Chelidonichthys lucerna</i> is a species of bottom-dwelling coastal fish with fingerlike pectoral fins.

A mosaic of underwater landscapes

Sand, silt, shells, rocks, mussel beds, sea-grass beds, flat oysters: the Wadden Sea bed comprises a diverse mosaic landscape. There are, however, strong indications that the once varied underwater landscape has become more monotonous, with major consequences for fish and sea-bed dwellers. With Wadden Mosaic we aim to record the variation and biodiversity in the underwater landscape of the Dutch Wadden Sea for the very first time.  We also look at potential control measures for the protection and recovery of the subtidal Wadden Sea which parts are constantly underwater.

Five sub-projects

Five sub-projects have been formulated within the entire project. In the first sub-project, researchers from the RUG and NIOZ will map the underwater landscape. The other sub-projects will focus on practical experiments in which the researchers will test the effectiveness of the control measures, such as the closure of areas for soil-disruptive fishing (RUG), the re-introduction of hard substrates, the recovery of sea-grass beds (RUG) and of oyster and mussel beds (NIOZ). The acquired knowledge will help informed decision making by managers of the area. 

Wadden tools

The Wadden Mosaic project is part of the overarching ‘Wadden Tools’ project. Four projects fall under this umbrella, oriented around measures regarding underwater diversity, fish migration, migratory and breeding birds. These projects jointly aim to improve the management of the Wadden Sea, making it healthier and more bountiful.

PDF application Wadden Mosaic

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