Site description (2000 baseline):

Site location and context
A marine area off the west Belgian coast, with sandbanks that are slightly covered by sea water at all times, and mud- and sandflats that are fully exposed at low tide.

Key biodiversity
Other species include passage Phalacrocorax carbo, Sterna sandvicensis, S. hirundo, S. paradisaea, Gavia stellata (winter >150 birds), G. arctica, Sula bassana, Somateria mollissima, Uria aalge, Alca torda and Aythya marila, and wintering Melanitta nigra (1,500-2,000 birds).

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Fishing activities and the illegal setting of fixed nets near the French border should be controlled. Seabirds are regularly counted, studies on benthic communities are taking place and remote-sensing aircraft monitor pollution from ship discharges. The area is a proposed Special Area for Conservation.

Protected areas
National None International HighIBA covered by Vlaamse Banken (Federal) Ramsar Site.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Nordzee. Downloaded from on 25/09/2023.