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BWZee: A biological valuation map for the Belgian part of the North Sea: Final report
Derous, S.; Courtens, W.; Cuvelier, D.; Deckers, P.; Deneudt, K.; Hillewaert, H.; Hostens, K.; Mees, J.; Moulaert, I.; Stienen, E.; Van Lancker, V.R.M.; Verfaillie, E.; Vincx, M.; Degraer, S. (2007). BWZee: A biological valuation map for the Belgian part of the North Sea: Final report. Belgian Science Policy: Brussel. 144 pp.

Available in Authors 
  • VLIZ: Open Repository 125641 [ OMA ]
  • VLIZ: Reports D71 [127917]

Keywords
    Environmental assessment; ANE, Belgium, Belgian Continental Shelf (BCS) [gazetteer]; Marine

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Abstract
    The Belgian part of the North Sea (BPNS) is one of the most exploited areas of the North Sea and this necessitates more sustainable use of its resources and space. Policy makers are becoming more and more aware of this fact but to be able to implement sustainable policy actions they need baseline maps showing the intrinsic biological value of the different subzones within the BPNS. Due to the lack of such maps in the past they based their policy actions (e.g. implementations of windmill farms, site selection for sand extraction,…) on the expert judgement of scientists and stakeholders. Having these maps which compile integrated biological knowledge will allow them to avoid the most valuable sites of the area during future spatial planning activities. The aim of the BWZee project was to provide such baseline biological valuation maps. These maps compile as much biological information as is available at this time. Different ecosystem components were taken into account when constructing the final biological valuation map of the BPNS: seabirds, macrobenthos, hyperbenthos, epibenthos and demersal fish. For other ecosystem components (e.g. sea mammals, pelagic fish,…) the available data were too sparse or too fragmentary dispersed at the initial phase of the project. This final report represents the results of the project and these results were only possible through a close collaboration of different institutes.

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