Move will help to preserve biodiversity hotspot and pave the way for a protected area shared between Denmark and Sweden
Oceana applauds the Danish government’s decision to end sand dredging in the Sound (Öresund) from January 2019 and to not issue new permits or renew the current ones, which expire in 2025. The official announcement is expected this Friday and it will also include the designation of the northern part of the Sound as a marine protected area.
“We are happy to see the Danish government make the right decision and take a step towards securing the marine life in the Sound, the most important marine biodiversity hotspot in Denmark,” said Lasse Gustavsson, executive director for Oceana Europe. “This unique area needs to be safeguarded for future generations, therefore Oceana strongly encourages Denmark and Sweden to come together and declare the Sound a transboundary protected area”, Gustavsson concluded.
Sand dredging is considered the single most destructive human impact in the Sound, causing severe damage to the seafloor. Furthermore, there is a strong overlap between essential fish habitats (grounds were fish spawn or breed) and the main dredged areas in the Sound.
Since 2011, Oceana has worked towards better protection of the Sound, and in 2016 carried out an at-sea expedition in the area that, among other things, documented the long-lasting negative impacts of sand dredging.