The populations of many fish species in the Wadden Sea have steeply declined in recent decades. Basic understanding of essential processes and functional pathways is often still missing, hampering effective and efficient fish conservation. To foster implementation of the Trilateral Fish Targets, a “SWIMWAY Vision” has recently been adopted at the Trilateral Governmental Conference in Leeuwarden, 2018.
In March 2019, a corresponding SWIMWAY Action Programme has been endorsed by the Wadden Sea Board. The main benefit arising from the SWIMWAY activities will be the identification of population bottlenecks and the translation of this knowledge into effective management and conservation measures.
Written by a trilateral coordination and writers’ team, the programme contains actions for four pillars of the programme “research and monitoring”, “policy”, “measures”, and “stakeholder involvement, communication and education”. A wide range of projects under this SWIMWAY umbrella will enhance knowledge on relevant processes, optimize population monitoring, adjust policies and develop and realise and evaluate measures towards reaching the Trilateral Fish Targets.
Activities under the SWIMWAY Vision and Action Programme are being initiated by the trilateral ad hoc Working Group SWIMWAY. One of the first actions will be a SWIMWAY conference on understanding connectivity within the life cycles of coastal fish, which takes place on 24 – 26 September 2019 in Hamburg, Germany.