The thematic report on Fish as part of the Quality Status Report 2017 (QSR 2017) provides a comprehensive and harmonized analysis of the fish fauna of the entire Wadden Sea, with the aim of creating the basis for a long-term parameter fully implemented in the Trilateral Monitoring and Assessment Program (TMAP).

From the QSR 2017, thematic report on fish:

The shallow coastal Wadden Sea is an important area for many fish species (Figure 1). The Wadden Sea forms the transition between the estuaries and the North Sea. The inner Wadden Sea is connected with several estuaries, which are characterized by a pronounced salinity gradient. The outer Wadden Sea, demarked by the Frisian islands, is connected with and influenced by the North Sea.

Many fish species rely on the Wadden Sea for at least one of their life stages (Figure 2). A suite of marine fish (flatfish, other groundfish and pelagic fish species) reach the Wadden Sea as post-larvae and spend their juvenile phase there, benefitting from the high food availability and shelter from predators characteristic of the Wadden Sea (marine juveniles) (van der Veer et al., 2000; Elliott et al., 2007). Other species inhabit the region en route to either marine or fresh water spawning sites (diadromous species), during certain times of the year (marine seasonal migrants) or only occasionally (marine adventitious species) (Elliott et al., 2007). Apart from the temporary visitors, the Wadden Sea is also inhabited by resident species that spend (almost) their entire life in the Wadden Sea.

Fish species occurring in the Wadden Sea have been listed previously (e.g., Witte and Zijlstra, 1978; Bolle et al., 2009). In this report, focus is set on the status and trends of selected fish species, typically found in the Wadden Sea. Given that the trilateral fish targets are described in an abstract manner and, therefore, cannot be evaluated quantitatively, this QSR-contribution will be restricted to describing and classifying trends in a selection of species and functional groups. [….read more]

Quality Status Report 2017: Fish (Tulp et al.)
Quality Status Report 2009: Thematic Report No. 14: Fish (Jager et al.)
Quality Status Report 2004: Chapter 8: Tidal Area: Fish (Vorberg et al.)