Wadden Sea Seals Agreement
The implementation of the seal management plan and monitoring activities developed and supported by the Trilateral Seal Expert Group (TSEG) and coordinated by the Wadden Sea Joint Secretariat are among the intensive management activities that meet the objectives of the Bonn Convention on Seal Conservation in the Wadden Sea. The current plan covers not only the Wadden Sea seal population, but also grey seal populations that are not covered by the WSSA. The plan aims to strike a balance between conservation and management of the area. The Wadden Sea Seal Conservation Convention is an agreement between the Wadden Sea countries to protect seals and was concluded in 1990 under the sponsorship of the Migratory Species Convention (CMS). Devastating outbreaks of Phocine Distemper, a potentially deadly virus, in 1988 and 2002, which wiped out between fifty and sixty percent of the region`s port seal population. Grey seals, originally endemic in the Wadden Sea, had all but disappeared in the last quarter of the 20th century. They`re back. And not since 1981, when organized seal censuses began in the Wadden Sea, researchers have recorded a higher number of individuals. The Wadden Sea is home to two species of seals, seals (Phoca vitulina) and grey seals (Halichoerus grypus). Archaeological findings suggest that seals were the dominant seal species until the Middle Ages and completely disappeared. The cause was most likely the ease with which this species could be hunted during whelping on the upper beaches. The seal population has also suffered, but has recovered since the creation of protected areas in the 1970s. The grey joint gradually returned in the middle of the 19th.
The agreement came into force on October 1, 1991 and will be honoured with a special event in the fall of 2021. The Trilateral Seal Expert Group (TSEG) conducts coordinated aerial studies each year covering the entire World Heritage of the Wadden Sea and the island of Helgoland. Since 1975, when the first censuses were conducted, the number of seals has increased from less than 5,000 to about 40,800 people in 2019. Given the increasing number of seals, trilateral surveys of this type were introduced in 2005. Since then, the population has increased from less than 2,000 to 6,500 registered people. Reports are published annually and can be downloaded in the Resources section and further afield. It is also a biodiversity hotspot. Each year, up to 12 million birds stop between their breeding sites in the Arctic and their wintering areas in Africa. The region is home to more than 10,000 plant and animal species, including approximately 40,000 seals and more than 4,000 seals. Seals (Phoca vitulina vitulina) may be considered the local species of the Wadden Sea, but they are also the most common seal species in the coastal waters of the North Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. While these residents spend an exceptional part of their lives in the water all year round, they also use habitats such as sandbanks, tidal areas or coastal strips where they can tow themselves. These habitats are essential for maintaining the vital biological functions of seals, such as Z.B.
Whelping, nursing, breeding, moulting, calm and feeding. The port seal is listed in Schedule II of the Habitats Directive and special areas have been designated for conservation. In addition, the harbour seal and the grey seal are included in Appendix V, which subjects the exploitation of the wilderness to management measures. In 2013, the highest number of seals was observed since the Wadden Sea seal census began in 1975. The total number of animals was more than 26,000 and, taking into account the individuals in the water (and therefore not counted), the total population of the seal lake is estimated at nearly 40,000.