DISCLOSE Webinar 2020

Friday November 13th 2020, an online webinar was organized to disseminate the latest DISCLOSE results to the experts and policymakers involved in the research and monitoring agenda from the North Sea Agreement. The webinar comprised of three talks, and a general introduction to the DISCLOSE project. Underneath are the recordings of the given presentations.


The North Sea Agreement (NSA) is an agreement between the Dutch government, offshore wind sector, oil & gas industry, fisheries, and nature organizations on the future management of the Dutch North Sea. In 2020, the NSA was agreed upon by the Dutch House of Representatives. The NSA aims to protect 13,7%  of the Dutch seafloor by 2023, by the designation of marine protected areas. This starts with the designation of 7.15% of the Dutch North Sea as no-fishing zones in 2021, located on the Dogger Bank, the Cleaver Bank, the Frisian Front, and the Central Oyster Grounds. Besides the designation of MPAs, a ten-year research and monitoring program is established under the NSA. This program should ensure that the future food, nature and energy transitions remain within the ecological carrying capacity of the North Sea. It further is aimed to enhance nature and species protection.  A total of €55 million euros will be available for this research and monitoring program.

Three expert groups have formed to elaborate the research and monitoring plans of the NSA. This DISCLOSE-webinar was organized to ensure that the most recent DISCLOSE results were presented to these experts, so that the innovative techniques developed in DISCLOSE can be built upon. DISCLOSE offers ample added value to such a large-scale monitoring and research program to increase current knowledge of the benthic ecosystem and its health. For instance, the innovative combination of seabed survey techniques deployed in DISCLOSE, together with knowledge gained during the dedicated surveys to the Brown Bank region, could support the NSA in the required surveying of the vulnerable ross worm reefs. In addition, the DISCLOSE results could provide valuable in the long-term monitoring of potential recovery of benthic communities and habitats in the newly protected areas as they provide a better view of the biological and abiotic conditions of an area.

This webinar was also joined by North Sea researchers not directly involved in the NSA, as the application of the techniques develepod within DISCLOSE could also strengthen ongoing monitoring that occurs for the MSFD (Marine Strategy Framework Directive) and for windfarm site locations.

“Webinar introduction” (Dutch)

Han Olff

“Sabellaria spinulosa riffen op een dynamische zandbodem
en de gevolgen voor bescherming”
Karin van der Reijden

“Innovative techniques using acoustic monitoring
for benthic habitat analysis”
Leo Koop

“Bescherming van benthische biodiversiteit” (Dutch)

Peter Herman