November 20, 2016

BUND e.V.: Protection of marine mammals in the North and Baltic Sea

The German environmental organisation BUND is committed to the protection of marine mammals in the North and Baltic Sea. Local marine mammals in the North and Baltic Sea are still under danger. Harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), the grey seal (Halichoerus grypus), the harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) and the baltic ringed seal (Phoca hispida baltica), which appears once and a while in german waters, need more protection.

big_1_meeressaeuger_bund

For example, the population of the harbour porpoise in the central Baltic Sea has decreased to 200-600 animals. The population of the baltic ringed seal is meanwhile reduced to 7000-9000 animals. The Baltic ringed seal is particularly vulnerable to the climate change. They give birth to there baby in holes in the sea ice, which decreases because of the warming up of the sea. If nothing will be done, the population may collapse.

big_2_meeressaeuger_bund

In these habitats mammals are characteristic species with an important function in the ecosystem. But the animals are still victims of fishery by catch, suffocating in gill nets. Underwater noise pollution let the animals escape or even be seriously injured. Chemical pollution and several disturbances come on top.

Even if all marine mammals are formally protected by the EU Habitats Directive, in real live they need protection. Without concrete measures, the survival of these species is under threat.

The BUND calls for action: The by-catch has to be reduced for example by acoustic warning signals, gill nets in sensitive areas must be prohibited and no take zones in marine protected areas established. Furthermore reporting requirements for polluters to control noise and reduce the impact on the mammals must be developed. Within the BUND work, public and policy have to be informed on the threats of marine mammals. BUND thanks the Tierschutz-Stiftung Wolfgang Bösche for supporting their work.

You can find more about the BUND marine protection work on our website: www.bund.net

BUND Flyer – Robben und Wale in unseren Meeren