The Nature Agency monitors the environmental condition of inlets and marine areas and it operates eight pollution combating vessels which sail out every one or two weeks to monitor the environmental condition of inlets and the sea. On the basis of the data collected, there is an assessment of whether areas meet the targets that will be adopted in the upcoming water management plans and Natura 2000 plans.
The Danish marine areas arose after the last Ice Age and biodiversity in the sea and inlets has adapted to changing environments. This is because the flora and fauna here are living in one of the world's largest brackish water areas, covering large parts of the almost 106,000 km2 Danish waters. The saline content varies as the Baltic sends an annual 950 km3 of freshwater out through the coastal waters. Saline content is just eight parts in a thousand off the island of Bornholm, but almost 30 parts per thousand near Skagen at the tip of Jutland. Another crucial factor is that a number of habitats change because the seabed is under constant change as shoal, reefs or coast. Combined with high production in water bodies and in some seabed types, this means that Danish seas contain unique natural assets. Protection of the biodiversity in Danish seas is a huge challenge. Life has evolved over millions of years in the stable environment of the oceans covering more than 70 % of the Earth's surface. However, intensive exploitation of marine resources has put pressure on ecosystems.
The Danish Marine Strategy
The Danish Marine Strategy illustrates the condition and importance of the Danish marine areas and it sets benchmarks for a good and healthy marine environment for the future.