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Responses and adaptive management

Since the mid 1980s high priority has been given to the quality and protection of the aquatic environment in Denmark. The overall goal is to ensure that the waters are clean. The endeavours in this respect are described in Aquatic Environment 1999 (Danish EPA 2000) and summarised in Conley et al. (2002).
These papers state that Danish administrations shall work towards ensuring:

  • That watercourses, lakes and marine waters are clean and of a satisfactory quality as regard to health and hygiene.
  • That exploitation of water bodies and associated resources takes place in a sustainable manner.

  • That the objectives of relevant international agreements will be fulfilled.

The central legal instrument to fulfil these political objectives is the Consolidated Environmental Protection Act, which aims to safeguard the environment, to support a sustainable social development, and to protect flora and fauna (Ministry of Environment and Energy 1998).

The general objectives for Danish marine waters are based on the Consolidated Environmental Protection Act, the 1992 Helsinki Convention on Protection of the Marine Environment in the Baltic Sea Region and the 1992 Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Northeast Atlantic. More specific objectives are:

Commercial exploitation, i.e. fishery, offshore industry, dumping of seabed material, recreational activities etc. has to be conducted in a manner that is sustainable and respects environmental and natural wealth.

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Danish Environmental Protection Agency & National Environmental Research Institute • updated: