Effectiveness of area protection measures (MEGMA)

The natural development of unfished mussel beds in the Wadden Sea will be mapped. Knowledge that arises from this can be used directly in policymaking regarding the management of the Wadden Sea.


The mussel covenant is based on some essential assumptions: Seed Bottom Fishing is bad for the naturalness of the Wadden Sea and Soil Seed Fisheries hinders the development of natural habitats and of mussel beds. To test this hypotheses, undisturbed parts of the Wadden Sea are monitored in their natural development.

In 2011, the monitoring has been limited to the two areas Vlieter and Breezanddijk. The mussel bed at the Vlieter has severely suffered from starfish predation. The mussel bed at Breezanddijk showed almost no starfish. Monitoring of fish above the closed banks has not been successful. Bird monitoring in winter shows that the Wadden Sea along the dam is an important refuge for Topper Ducks and Grebes when the lake gets frozen.