Essential fish habitats (EFH)
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Essential fish habitats (EFH)

Conclusions from a workshop on the importance, mapping, monitoring, threats and conservation of coastal EFH in the Baltic Sea

Many fish species in the Baltic Sea are dependent on shallow and sheltered near-shore habitats for their spawning, nursery, feeding and migration. Still, the role of these essential fish habitats, EFH, for the development and support for fish production has received little attention. As coastal EFH often are found in areas heavily impacted by humans, they are subject to many threats and therefore management needs are urgent. EFH also provide and support important ecosystem services and are included in national/international agreements and legislative acts. Despite this, the conservation status of EFH is generally poor in the region. Due to these shortcomings and needs, a workshop was set up to review the importance and protection of as well as threats to coastal EFH in the Baltic Sea. This report describes the outcome of the workshop and future directions for work in this research area.

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Preface You do not have access to this content

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Author(s):
Nordic Council of Ministers

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Many coastal and offshore fish species in the Baltic Sea are strongly dependent on shallow and sheltered near-shore habitats for their spawning, nursery, feeding and migration. Still, the role of these essential fish habitats, EFH, for the development and support of fish stocks and communities has received relatively little attention. As EFH in the Baltic often are found in the same parts of the coastal zone that are highly utilized and valued by humans, they are subjected to many threats and therefore management needs are urgent. In addition, EFH provide and support important ecosystem services and are included in national and international agreements and legislative acts as the Baltic Sea Action Plan, Habitats Directive and Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Despite this, the conservation status of EFH is generally poor in the region.