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The Royal Decree of 22 May 2019 establishing a marine spatial plan defines 5 nature conservation areas: Special area for conservation 'The Flemish Banks' (Art. 7§1), Special area for conservation 'Vlakte van de Raan' (Art. 7§3), Special protection area for birds - SPA 1 (Art. 7§5.1°), Special protection area for birds - SPA 2 (Art. 7§5.2°), Special protection area for birds - SPA 3 (Art. 7§5.3°). It replaces the 2014 Marine Spatial Plan, which is included for completeness. The Royal Decree of 20 March 2014 establishing a marine spatial plan defines in its Art. 7., six nature conservation sites: two special areas for conservation (Art. 7. §1, Special area for conservation 'Vlaamse Banken' and Art. 7. §3, Special area for conservation 'Trapegeer stroombank'), three special protection zones for birds (Art7§4.1°, SBZ1, Art7§4.2°, SBZ2, Art7§4.3°, SBZ3), and one marine reserve (Art7§8, Marine reserve 'Baai van Heist'). These zones are made available digitally in the resource described by this metadata document. Please refer to the Belgian official gazette ("Moniteur belge/Belgisch Staatsblad") for official reference information.
The Scientific Service Management Unit of the Mathematical Model of the North Sea of the Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences has been operating monitoring stations on the Belgian Part of the North Sea since the 1970s. These stations are located in the Scheldt estuary, at open sea and in coastal waters. In 2007, 10 new stations were designated and were placed in the monitoring network needed for the OSPAR convention, the Water Framework Directive and the Marine Strategic Framework Directive. These replaced a series of 54 previous monitoring stations whose data was gathered throughout the years for the Belgian Monitoring Programme and reported according to the recommendations of the OSPAR Convention. This dataset contains information on all monitoring stations ever used by the Scientific Service Management Unit of the Mathematical Model of the North Sea. The dataset provides location, name, operational history and for which reporting obligations they are used.
The dataset describes the physical habitats in the Belgian Part of the North Sea. It uses the EUNIS classification system as well as the MSFD Habitat codelist for the description and classification of the BPNS. It provides also information on the energy, biozone and type of substrate for the different areas in the BPNS.