The policy and management of the harbour porpoises, grey seals and common seals in and around the Wadden Sea is laid down in the five-year Seal Management Plan (SMP). This is drawn up by the Trilateral Seal Expert Group (TSEG) and approved by the responsible ministers in the three Wadden Sea countries.
The SMP is also the practical elaboration of a Trilateral Wadden Sea Agreement as laid down in the Agreement on the Conservation of the Seals in the Wadden Sea, concluded under the Bonn Convention. The responsible authorities also need policy-supporting research and policy advice on drawing up the SMP, its implementation and the resulting recommendations.
Because the research institute Wageningen Marine Research, in the person of Drs. S.M.J.M Brasseur, participates in the activities and sessions of the Trilateral Seal Expert Group, it fulfils the role of the Dutch share in the trilateral agreement and advises on the international management of seals found elsewhere. Thus, this project contributes to the implementation of the policy formulated by the Dutch government regarding the management of seals and porpoises in the Wadden Sea, the Delta region and the international management of seals occurring outside the Wadden Sea.
In addition, Wageningen Marine Research supports and advises the Ministry of Economic Affairs on the management of seals in the Delta area and their position on international management issues concerning seals occurring elsewhere than in the Netherlands, specifically to endangered species.