The international conference will focus on drivers of fish populations utilizing coastal marine environments during their ontogeny, identifying potential bottlenecks throughout the life cycle and, eventually, evaluating current management measures. Organized by the Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation´s SWIMWAY Group in cooperation with the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, the event welcomes scientists, managers, policy makers, NGOs and other stakeholders concerned with fish in coastal areas to contribute. Exchanging and connecting knowledge and expertise between diverse experts and stakeholders will form a pivotal part of the meeting. Interactive breakout sessions will allow identifying fields of collaboration, expanding and organizing knowledge and ensuring long-term engagement of relevant stakeholders.
For protecting fish in the world’s largest intertidal wetland, the Wadden Sea, generic quality objectives were formulated. These Trilateral Fish Targets aim to maintain or improve healthy fish populations in the Wadden Sea. In the past two years, a conceptual approach has been developed to implement these targets. This SWIMWAY approach seeks to improve understanding of the role of the Wadden Sea for the different fish species, asking which physical, ecological or physiological bottlenecks occur in their life-cycle in order to develop effective conservation measures. Understanding factors affecting life-cycle connectivity is the key component of the approach. It rests on four pillars: research and monitoring; policy; measures; and stakeholder involvement, communication and education.
The proceedings of the conference will be published in a Special Issue of the journal Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
The conference is supported by the Danish Ministry for Environment and Food, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality.