Baltic Sea: strictly protected reefs in the Fehmarn Belt

by    DiveSSI    10th September 2019
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Reefs in the Fehmarn Belt, (c) NABU / Submaris
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Reefs in the Fehmarn Belt, (c) NABU / Submaris

NABU: planned Fehmarn Belt tunnel now has one more problem

Reefs instead of sandy soil: The NABU has presented biotope mapping along the route of the planned Fehmarn Belt Tunnel in the Schleswig-Holstein coastal waters. These were absolutely necessary, because in the documents and reports of the Danish protagonist Femern A / S inconsistencies were found, which have been checked by the NABU.

The results of the dives are as surprising as they are clear. Although the seabed is said to consist only of silt and sand according to the Environmental Impact Study, the new studies show well-developed and species-rich reefs. "These are strictly protected habitats that were not taken into consideration in the procedure," explains NABU Federal Managing Director Leif Miller. "What that means for the tunnel permit will be clarified in the proceedings before the Federal Administrative Court. The fact is: the tunnel has another big problem now. "

In addition to the lack of demand and outdated traffic forecasts, NABU has been criticizing the anticipated environmental damage caused by the planned immersed tunnel for many years. These include dangers for Germany's only native whale, the harbor porpoise, for which a protected area has been designated, and also destruction on the seabed through the 60-meter-wide, 20-meter-deep and 18-kilometer-long ditch. "We are dealing here with a unique habitat: large boulders and extensive boulder fields are densely covered with colorful sponges, bushy branched moss and Tang. There is a plethora of flatfish here in the Baltic Sea that seeks to do the same. The ecological damage in the case of a tunnel construction must be reassessed," Dr. Kim Detloff, NABU Marine Protection Director.

Reefs are strictly protected by the Federal Nature Conservation Act and the European Habitats Directive. Germany and also the state of Schleswig-Holstein have done too little for the preservation of these oases of the oceans. This is another reason why the EU Commission has opened infringement proceedings against the Federal Republic of Germany. The new biotope mapping, which has been carried out by the renowned research company Submaris in Kiel, is the subject of NABU's statement of grounds against the plan approval decision and is currently filed with the Federal Administrative Court. The judges are now asked to check the completeness and legality of the permit.

Written by
DiveSSI
Date
10th September 2019
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