Report | September 26, 2018

Filling gaps in knowledge of North Sea benthic biodiversity

The North Sea is one of the best-studied marine areas in the world, yet serious gaps remain in the knowledge -and therefore also in the protection- of its benthic biodiversity. Although the current network of marine protected areas (MPAs) covers roughly 22% of the North Sea, most of the MPAs are designed to target only pelagic species and birds, and benthic protection is particularly lacking in offshore areas.

In 2016 and 2017, we carried out two research cruises in the waters of Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom. We documented and identified roughly 1400 taxa, from depths ranging from 8 to 460 m. Here, we present the distributions of selection of benthic species, habitats and communities of ecological interest.

This scientific poster was presented at the 53rd European Marine Biology Symposium.