Natura 2000 protected areaS
The Dogger Bank is located in a relatively shallow area of the North Sea. It rises from 40 meter deep water to a depth of about 13 meter under the seawater level. The Dogger Bank was formed by glacial processes and submerged through sea-level rise. A large part of the southern area of the bank is covered by water seldom deeper than 20 m. The bank is non-vegetated and comprises mainly of moderately mobile, clean sandy sediments. The location of Dogger Bank in the open sea means that it is exposed to waves, which in turn prevents the shallower parts of the bank having any vegetation grow on it. The bank is almost 300 km long and is located in British, Danish, German and Dutch parts of the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ).
The Dogger Bank, the biggest sandbank in the North Sea, might look relatively featureless, but in fact it is home to an abundant diversity of life forms. This includes segmented polychaete worms, shrimp like amphipods and small clams which burrow into the sand. Animals like hermit crabs, flatfish and starfish also live on top of the sandbank. Different fish species are food for many seabirds, whales and dolphins and fish such as cod and threatened marine mammal species are also known to visit the Dogger Bank.
The Dogger Bank is designated as a Habitat Directive site for main part in UK, Netherlands and Germany.
- UK: site area 12,331 km2 (SAC/SCI)
- Netherlands: site area 4,715 km² (SAC)
- Germany: site area 1,699 km² (SCI)
The designation for the Dogger Bank N2000 area consist of “sandbanks which are slightly covered by sea water all the time, subtype Dogger Bank” (habitat type H1110C)
Protected Habitat Directive species on Dogger Bank are:
- Harbour porpoise (Netherlands and Germany)
- Grey seal (Netherlands)
- Harbour seal (Netherlands and Germany).
Balance between ecology and economy
The North Sea is intensively used by many stakeholders, e.g. shipping, fishery, oil & gas and many other activities. Offshore wind is a growing and promising industry that significantly contributes to the goals of the Paris Agreement, but will also have a spatial claim. At the same time protected areas are necessary to ensure biodiversity and are of vital importance to our ecosystem.
The Consortium will ensure close collaboration between the North Sea countries’ stakeholders to maintain the balance between environmental matters as well as a cost-efficient development of both wind farms and associated infrastructure, recognizing all stakeholders' interests.
In December 2015, at the Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21), 195 countries adopted the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate agreement to put the world on track to avoid climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C, and with an aim to limit the increase to 1.5°C.
The purpose of the North Sea Wind Power Hub project is to provide an efficient, affordable and reliable energy export system in the North Sea, which will contribute to both European and national climate and energy targets.