Paving the way for a healthy North Sea

Not only animals on the mainland are threatened, also the wildlife in the North Sea needs protection. Faunawatch aims to protect animals in the North Sea from overfishing and illegal fishing. Due to these activities many species in this marginal sea are currently threatened with extinction. Faunawatch views protected areas in the North Sea as a solution.

Main goaldieren

There are eight countries bordering the North Sea: England, Scotland, Norway, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and France.
In order to protect life in the North Sea, Faunawatch supports setting up protected areas, in which fishing is not allowed and dumping waste is forbidden. Currently, only 0.25% of the North Sea is protected. When these requirements are in place, then the species and the entire ecosystem can restore itself.


As a result of overfishing and illegal fishing there are countless problems:

  • Overfishing occurs globally and is also a big problem¬†in our North Sea, especially for animals, such as orcas and dolphins. They depend on other fish as their food source to survive.
  • There are tons of so-called ‘ghost’ fishnets in the North Sea in which animals can get entangled.
  • There is massive pollution consisting of plastics and toxics, such as oil.

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Solution for the North Sea

We believe there are several solutions to protect the fish and animals in the North Sea.

  • Sustainable fishery: catching fish in certain seasons, and not throughout the year, which gives nature a chance to recover.
  • Materials: fishing with nets that produce minimal bycatch.
  • Protected areas: large connected areas, in which nature can take its own course. Nowadays there’s only a small percentage which is protected, like you see in red at the picture.

What you can do

Together we can work towards an unpolluted North Sea by cleaning both the water and the beaches. It would therefore be beneficial to pay attention to your (plastic) debris, including which toothpaste, and face and body wash you use, because they can contain micro plastics that can end up in the oceans. In addition, it always helps to try to eat less or no fish.