Wadden Sea Fish Targets

Many marine and estuarine fish species depend on the Wadden Sea at some point in their life cycle. The majority of these species spend only part of their lives in the Wadden Sea, as juveniles to feed and grow, as adults to spawn or search for food, or en route between marine and freshwater habitats. In recent decades, the populations of many fish species have declined in the Wadden Sea due to largely unknown reasons. As fish are an important part of the Wadden Sea ecosystem the authors of the QSR (2009) proposed fish targets for the Wadden Sea, which were adopted as part of the revised Wadden Sea Plan in 2010 - the so-called Trilateral Fish Targets.

Fish experts conduct a regular assessment of the trilateral targets in the Wadden Sea Quality Status Report (QSR). An overarching target for fish conservation in the Wadden Sea was described by authors of the 2017 QSR thematic report on fish:


There should be no human-induced bottlenecks in the Wadden Sea for fish populations or their ecosystem functions (Tulp et al, 2017)



Trilateral fish targets as in the Wadden Sea Plan 2010 (left) and proposed revision by authors of the trilateral Quality Status Report thematic report fish 2017 (right) in reference to the overall target.