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The exploitation of living resources in the Dutch Wadden Sea: a historical overview
Wolff, W.J. (2005). The exploitation of living resources in the Dutch Wadden Sea: a historical overview. Helgol. Mar. Res. 59(1): 31-38.
In: Helgoland Marine Research. Springer: Berlin; Heidelberg. ISSN 1438-387X, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    overexploitation; extinction; fishing; hunting; harvesting

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    An overview, based on written sources and personal observations, is presented of exploitation of living resources in and around the Dutch Wadden Sea during the past few centuries. It is concluded that before about 1900 exploitation was almost unrestricted. Exploitation of plants has been documented for saltmarshes and eelgrass beds. Fisheries have occurred for two species of hydroids, two species of polychaetes, one echinoderm species, at least seven species of molluscs, three species of crustaceans, and tens of species of fish. Hunting and egg collecting targeted almost all species of birds. Finally, two species of seals were exploited: information on exploitation of cetaceans is not available. Hence, it is likely that overexploitation may have been involved in the extirpation of several species. This supports an earlier suggestion that overexploitation played a part in the disappearance of at least 17 species from the Dutch Wadden Sea. This conclusion is confirmed by the observation that several extirpated species have returned after protective measures were introduced for the Dutch Wadden Sea area.

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