THE NORTH SEA, OUR ELEVENTH PROVINCE!
The Belgian part of the North Sea, at nearly 3,500 km², is about the size of a province. This amounts to 0.5% of the entire North Sea. This might not seem like much, but the area is still of immense importance. The marine environment of our North Sea is very precious. Protection and recovery are needed, including beyond the boundaries of our part. After all, the sea knows no boundaries. The ultimate goal? A clean sea full of life!
The Department for the Marine Environment for the protection of the North Sea
The North Sea belongs to everyone. In order to protect it, Belgium can lay down rules for its part of the North Sea. For example, the Department for the Marine Environment at the FPS Public Health is among those taking measures to preserve, support and stimulate the natural biodiversity of the North Sea. The designation of protected areas is an example of this. In addition, and subject to conditions, companies can obtain permits for certain activities at sea, such as wind farms or exploitation of the seabed. The marine spatial plan provides an overview of all these activities and aligns them in time and place. We also have the equipment to protect the marine environment from pollution in the event of an accident at sea.
From what vision?
The policy of the Department for the Marine Environment aims for a clean, healthy, safe and productive North Sea with a wealth of biodiversity. Sustainable use of scarce marine space and finding solutions to environmental problems are central to this. In order to achieve this, we collaborate with various federal and Flemish government departments, other countries, scientific institutions, environmental organisations, stakeholders and all actors at sea.
Through publications and news bulleting, we keep you up to date on what is going on in and on our North Sea. Thanks to public consultations, your opinion will also be taken into account. The central management of our department is the responsibility of the Minister for the North Sea.