North Sea Coastal Area

Materials presented on this website, particularly maps and territorial information, are as-is and as-available based on available data and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.


The North Sea Coastal Area Site (Noordzeekustzone in Dutch) is an extensive area of coastal shallow waters with sandbanks, mudflats, salt meadows and embryonic shifting dunes. It was formerly part of the Waddeneilanden, Noordzeekustzone, Breebaart Ramsar Site, which was divided in 2014 into six smaller Sites which follow Natura 2000 boundaries. The high food productivity of the Site supports healthy populations of endangered mammals such as harbour porpoise and grey seal, as well as more than 20,000 wintering waterbirds and more than 1% of the individuals of the biogeographic populations of sevenwaterbird species. In addition, the site is an important spawning and nursery ground for fish such as sea lamprey and twaite shad. The main human activities include angling, boating, commercial fisheries, shipping traffic and military training. Potential threats to the site’s ecological character derive from aquaculture and shellfish industry, gas exploration, pollution and bird disturbance caused by air force military training, recreation activities and tourism.
Transboundary designation: 
The "Wadden Sea" Transboundary Ramsar Site was declared in 2015 and it includes 13 Ramsar Sites in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands: Site No. 356 in Denmark; Sites No. 501, 537, 80, 81, 82 in Germany; Sites No. 1252, 289, 2212, 2213, 2214, 2215, 2216 in the Netherlands.

Administrative region: 

  • National legal designation: 
    • National Ecological Network (NEN) - Noordzeekustzone
  • Regional (international) legal designations: 
    • EU Natura 2000
  • Last publication date: 


Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS)

Additional reports and documents