Coastal areas play an important role in the Baltic Sea ecosystem and provide habitat for a great variety of living organisms. However, Baltic shorelines are also important areas for human activities and as such are of high economic interest. They increasingly support human uses and claims for space through transport, fishing, tourism, and energy generation and supply activities. HERRING looks at a typical ecosystem resource where these demands for space collide: coastal spawning grounds. The herring is a meaningful example to look at as the species plays a crucial role in the food chain and the marine ecosystem and has a long tradition as food fish. Spawning and nursery habitats for the Baltic herring are found in south Baltic coastal waters, particularly in the German Greifswalder Bodden, the Polish Vistula Lagoon and the Swedish coast of Blekinge and Skåne, working as regional case studies in this project. The management of these areas has to balance many claims and economic interests, so that their role as crucial prerequisites for the development of fish populations is often inadequately included into holistic management strategies.
HERRING will account for this and aims at an improved integrated management of coastal ecosystems and of one of their key natural resources herring. The activities will compile knowledge for the coastal case studies on their ecological condition, on the impacts of human activities, and on the multi-level institutions (regional, national, international) and management instruments governing the use and protection of coastal herring spawning grounds.
On case study level, findings will be discussed between scientists, fishermen, coastal management and planning authorities on a regional and then transferred to the transnational level and be exchanged between case studies and countries to identify best-practice and possible intervention points for the introduction of new and improved forms of resource governance. Consolidating the natural science results, the policy and the planning level, the project will develop strategy options and joint recommendations for an improved management of coastal areas as spawning habitats.
Representatives of the targeted regional management authorities will be involved from the beginning and define basic requirements for resulting policy briefs. As the Baltic Sea is a transnational water body, next to regional managing authorities, the project will also include transnational organisations (e.g. HELCOM) and their managing instruments (BSAP), as well as the regional advisory level for EU policies (BSRAC). A desktop analysis of further projects focussing on coastal issues and the socio-economic development will broaden project results. Identified gaps and needs for an improved coastal and maritime management in the South Baltic area will be summerized to serve as recommendations for future projects.
Administrative and financial project management structures were established in all partner institutions, three progress reports were submitted on partner and project level, and accepted. The project partnership was consolidated in national and international project meetings. Contacts to relevant stakeholders were established and further consolidated in the course of the project. Corporate design documents for the project were developed including logo, templates for presentations, posters and roll-ups, and a layout for the project website. The website was further developed, providing information on project activities and results, and the three coastal case study regions. The project website was regularly updated. It further provides an internal area for project communication and document exchange. Communication products such as project postcards, leaflets, sticky notes, posters, childrens education game and roll-up displays were developed and printed. Dissemination was further achieved by means of newsletter articles, articles in the illustrated magazine “Meer & Küste”, the magazine “Fischerei & Fischmarkt”, and the international “Coastal & Marine” and numerous press releases.
Moreover, a scientific article was submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. Another scientific article was published in Acta Ichthylogica Et Piscatoria (2014)44 (4): 309-317. The in-depth analyses of ecological parameters and human spatial impacts in the coastal case study areas were completed for all three case studies, and the results compiled in the impact report, supplemented by GIS maps, SWOT tables and best practice approaches. Furthermore, interviews with management institutions were realized in all case study areas and translated into network maps for regional governance structures. Based on CCS summary reports from all case studies the governance report was developed. The synthesis report, which summarizes the impact and governance report was compiled, layouted and printed as a readerfriendly book.
Project results were discussed during national roundtables, the transnational workshop with participants from all three case study areas and the EU back to back seminar which was conducted at the European Maritime Day in Bremen, Germany. Furthermore, project results were presented and discussed with international experts at the transnational project symposium in Klaipeda, Lithuania. Fact sheets for local stakeholders and policy briefs for local and transnational managing authorities were published in national language and English. In total 9 Memorandums of Understanding were realized between local/ regional stakeholders and project partners. Pilot measures were initiated with respect to the analyses of spatial spawning area preferences and spatio-temporal variances. In Germany, a scientific statement was developed for the state government regarding the ecologic utility of the CCS area and its ecosystem function as well as policy options to preserve the status quo. To further improve the management of coastal areas three capacity building workshop were conducted, project results were presented in expert fora and two cross-border networks were initiated. Project results were presented in several expert fora and in front of a political assembly in Simrishamn, Sweden.Read more