Site details

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Flag of Netherlands
1 star - Not protected
LTBR Focal Site

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Epifauna sampling at the Frisian Front with the Triple D-dregde. Photo:

Extensive description of site:

The Frisian Front is a 40 m deep area in the offshore southern North Sea where different watermasses converge. It is situated at the border of the sandy Southern Bight and the Oyster Ground where silty sand prevails. The Frisian Front encompasses a wide gradient in sediment type, food conditions and biodiversity.

Habitats present:
Seagrass beds 

Description of fauna and flora:

The fauna has been well documented, and has been the subject of research by the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research from the 1980's onwards.

Human impact:

The Frisian Front lies within an area that for decades has been fished by beam trawlers. It is characterised by high turbidity due to natural causes i.e. the general circulation pattern in combination with the coastal supply of fine particles. Pollution levels fall within the normal range of the offshore North Sea


All facilities for marine biodiversity research are available, i.e. a seagoing research vessel and fully equipped laboratories (climatized rooms with running filtered seawater, salinity and temperature (0 30o C) separately adjustable; 50 m2 climatized mesocosm space for North Sea work)

Available database and website:

The species inventory on macrofauna and epifauna is comprehensive and stored in a NIOZ database which can be consulted upon request.

Dataset covering this area:

Commitment and ongoing research:

The Frisian Front is part of the area covered by the annual macrofauna monitoring programme by the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) in cooperation with the National Institute for Coastal and Marine Management (RIKZ). Biodiversity related research on population dynamics of benthic organisms living at the Frisian Front is conducted by the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research.