The Central Oyster Grounds are generally awarded for their ecological values. The area is especially important for benthos because of their species diversity and density, the total biomass, distribution of species, and the balanced composition of the benthic community' (Ministry of Economic affairs, 2012). In the Marine Strategy (OlM/2012-25338), the area has been assigned as one of the search areas that will be used for spatial protection measures in the frame of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the Common Fisheries Policy. Because of this, the ministry has asked LEI to make an inventory of the fishing practices in the area of the Central Oyster Grounds in the period 2006-2011. Because the Dutch fishing sector also has important economic interests in foreign fishing fleets (Belgian, German and UK), these fleets are also taken into consideration.
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