Third North Sea Ministerial Declaration

Filename: 1990-ThirdNorthSeaDeclaration.EN.txt

Ministerial Declaration Of The Third International Conference On The Protection Of The North Sea, The Hague, 8 March 1990


The Ministers responsible for the protection of the North Sea (1) environment and the rivers entering the North Sea of the Governments of:

the Kingdom of Belgium

the Kingdom of Denmark

the Federal Republic of Germany

the French Republic

the Kingdom of the Netherlands

the Kingdom of Norway

the Kingdom of Sweden

the Swiss Confederation

the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and

the Member of the Commission of the European Communities

responsible for environmental protection

participated in the Third International Conference on the Protection of the North Sea in the Hague on 7 and 8 March 1990.

Observers from the following states also attended the Conference:

Czechoslovakia, Finland, the German Democratic Republic, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain,

as well as representatives from the following International Organizations and Conventions:

the Paris and Oslo Commissions,

the Bonn Agreement,

the International Maritime Organization,

the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine,

the Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control,

the Helsinki Commission,

the Barcelona Convention,

the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea,

the Trilateral Co-operation on the Protection of the Wadden Sea,

the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals and

the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection of the European Parliament.


Participants remain individually and jointly fully committed towards the protection of the North Sea environment and agree that there is a need for continuous action, including action at the political level, to ensure that such protection is indeed effected.

The main tasks of this Third International Conference on the Protection of the North Sea have been to assess whether the targets and the time frames set with respect to the policies and measures adopted at the Second Conference will be met, and to decide, on the basis of this assessment and new developments, which further initiatives needed to be taken.

The political work regarding the protection of the North Sea environment has taken place within what has become an effective international framework. The first step towards the establishment of this framework was taken by the Federal Republic of Germany in 1984. It convened the First International Conference on the Protection of the North Sea. The decisions taken on that occasion were elaborated at the Second International Conference, organized by the United Kingdom in 1987. The commitments entered into at both these Conferences still fully apply and have now also been endorsed by Switzerland.

In order to provide continuity for the ongoing work regarding the protection of the North Sea environment, officials will meet as regularly as necessary during the forthcoming years.

The participants:

* welcome the growing interest in their work of non-littoral states and of governmental and non-governmental organizations and in particular appreciate the participation of Switzerland and the presence as observers of the German Democratic Republic and Czechoslovakia;

* take note of the recommendations made to the Conference and underline the importance of being informed by many governmental and non-governmental organizations about their knowledge and viewpoints relevant to the further protection of the North Sea environment;

* recognize the need to broaden and intensify co-operation between states in the region from which riverine and atmospheric emissions find their way into the North Sea;

* invite states sharing the catchment area of major rivers entering the North Sea to establish mechanisms for the joint management of their waters, taking as an example the instruments developed for the river Rhine; and

* recognize that individual states in implementing the policies agreed at North Sea Conferences encounter specific problems related to their own national situation and accordingly develop national policies for reaching the common goals established.

The participants considered the progress made in the protection of the North Sea environment.


* welcome the progress made in implementing the decisions taken at the previous Conferences as reported in the report on the Implementation of the Ministerial Declaration of the Second International Conference on the Protection of the North Sea and the 1990 Interim Report on the Quality Status of the North Sea; and

* welcome the initiatives of the Wadden Sea states towards the protection of this area of vital importance for the North Sea.

The participants adopted the following premises as a basis for their future work.


* will improve at the national level, and where appropriate at the international level, the control and enforcement of regulations to reduce emissions which directly or indirectly affect the North Sea environment;

* will continue to apply the precautionary principle, that is to take action to avoid potentially damaging impacts of substances that are persistent, toxic and liable to bioaccumulate even where there is no scientific evidence to prove a causal link between emissions and effects;

* accept the implications of the concepts of sustained use and sustainable development, and the integrated ecosystem approach, as indicated by the World Commission on Environment and Development; and

* take as a basis for further action towards the reduction of pollution in the North Sea:

* the further development and use of non- and low-waste processes and environmentally non-hazardous products;

* an integrated approach towards the environmental management of anthropogenic sources of land-based pollution from rivers, estuaries and the atmosphere, both by effective co-operation between the various authorities responsible and by developing comprehensive policies which take into account both emissions to air and to water;

* co-operation with industry, to continue to reduce polluting emissions at source by using the Best Available Technology (2);

* the further reduction, as far as possible, of the risk of accidents which may harm the North Sea environment, and the continued improvement of response systems and procedures in case an accident does occur; and

* continued combination of the advantages of approaches based on both environmental quality objectives and emission standards.


To further protect the North Sea environment the participants decided to adopt a comprehensive set of common actions.


In continuation of the policies agreed to further reduce inputs entering the North Sea via rivers, estuaries and the atmosphere, additional measures have been adopted. In order to effectively implement these measures, priority substances have been selected which are presently considered to contribute most to the pollution of the North Sea. And to this end:

1. To agree that, as a matter of principle, all substances that are persistent, toxic and liable to bioaccumulate and that could reach the marine environment, should, regardless of their anthropogenic sources, be covered by reduction measures as required in the London Declaration, and furthermore, to agree that discharges of these substances should be reduced to levels that are not harmful to man or nature before the year 2000.

2. To achieve a significant reduction (of 50% or more) of:

(i) inputs via rivers and estuaries between 1985 and 1995 for each of the substances in Annex 1A; and

(ii) atmospheric emissions by 1995, or by 1999 at the latest, of the substances specified in Annex 1A, provided that the application of Best Available Technology, including the use of strict emissions standards, enables such a reduction.

3. For substances that cause a major threat to the marine environment, and at least for dioxins, mercury, cadmium and lead, to achieve reductions between 1985 and 1995 of total inputs (via all pathways) of the order of 70% or more, provided that the use of Best Available Technology or other low waste technology measures enables such reductions.

4. To aim for a substantial reduction in the quantities of pesticides reaching the North Sea and to this end, by 31 December 1992, to control strictly the use and application of pesticides and to reduce, where necessary, emissions to the environment. Special attention will be paid to:

(i) the phasing out of those pesticides which are the most persistent, toxic and liable to bioaccumulate (see part (c) of Annex 1B);

(ii) the establishment of approval systems specifying permitted pesticides and permitted uses; and

(iii) examples of measures to reduce inputs of pesticides listed in Annex 1B part (d).

5. To implement the measures listed in part (a) of the list of measures in Annex 1B and to initiate action within the appropriate international bodies in order to adopt decisions on these measures at the earliest possible date and to consider further the examples of product control measures listed in part (b) of Annex 1B.

6. To take initiatives in accordance with Annex 1C to reduce the emissions from specified activities which substantially contribute to the inputs of hazardous substances to the North Sea via rivers, estuaries and the atmosphere, by defining the Best Available Technology and applying it to specified point sources, and by defining and applying the Best Environmental Practice to specified diffuse sources.

7. To take initiatives in accordance with Annex 1D to improve the setting of priorities for taking future measures with regard to the reduction of inputs of hazardous substances to the North Sea via rivers, estuaries and the atmosphere, inter alia., by co-operating to develop and use a selection scheme for the identification of substances hazardous to the aquatic environment.

8. To exchange information on the experience gained in exercising control with respect to the implementation of the measures taken, and in particular:

(i) to stimulate the exchange of information between the experts involved, e.g. through organizing international seminars;

(ii) to accept the invitation of the Netherlands to organize a first meeting of experts involved in exercising control; and

(iii) to report on the results of these meetings to the meetings of officials which will take place between the Third and the Fourth Conferences.


9. To prevent PCBs and hazardous PCB-substitutes (4) from entering the marine environment, and to this end:

9.1 (i) to take measures to phase out and to destroy in an environmentally safe manner all identifiable PCBs as soon as possible with the aim of complete destruction, including the interim option of safe deep underground disposal in dry rock formation of capacitors and empty transformers, by 1995 and by the end of 1999 at the latest, ensuring that the time between taking out of service and destruction is as short as practicable;

(ii) to undertake to develop the necessary destruction facilities, sufficient for each North State to deal with its own waste, in accordance with this time schedule; and

(iii) to submit to the meeting of the Oslo and Paris Commissions at ministerial level in 1992 national plans on the implementation of these decisions.

9.2 to co-operate in developing criteria for safe substitutes for PCBs and to cease production of, phase out and destroy hazardous PCB-substitutes according to a comparable timetable for phasing out and destruction of PCBs themselves, and taking into account the outcome of the review underway by the Paris Commission of criteria for environmentally safe substitutes for PCBs;

9.3 to urge the EEC and other countries to take measures to prevent identifiable PCBs and/or hazardous PCB-substitutes, or equipment containing such substances, to be imported, exported or sold except for the sole purpose of ensuring the environmentally safe destruction of such substances; and

9.4 to initiate actions within the appropriate international bodies, aiming at comparable measures on a global scale.


In applying the precautionary principle, to co-ordinate initiatives to reduce nutrient inputs with the aim of achieving the goal set at the Second Conference on the Protection of the North Sea, in particular through implementation by the Contracting Parties to the Paris Convention of the programme for the reduction of nutrient inputs as established by the Paris Commission. In addition:

10. To identify some coastal zones of the North Sea, including the Skagerrak, as being actual eutrophication problem areas and, in view of the increased inputs and levels of nutrients, some other coastal zones as being potential problem areas.

11. To agree that for the North Sea catchment area, as a minimum level of treatment, urban areas (e.g. 5000 p.e or more) and industries with a comparable waste water load should be connected to sewage treatment plants with secondary (biological) or equally effective treatments, unless, on a case by case basis, comprehensive scientific studies demonstrate to the satisfaction of the competent international authorities, that this discharge will not adversely affect the North Sea environment on a local or regional level. In these cases primary treatment should at least be provided. Full information should be provided in time for an assessment at the meeting of the Oslo and Paris Commissions at ministerial level in 1992.

12. To agree that further measures are required in order to meet the aim of a reduction of the order of 50% for inputs of nutrients between 1985 and 1995 into areas where these inputs are likely, directly or indirectly, to cause pollution. To this end the states concerned take the following measures or a combination of these measures:

(i) municipal treatment plants:

to apply nutrient removal at municipal sewage treatment plants (e.g. with a capacity above 20.000 p.e.), reaching effluent concentrations of nitrogen below 10 - 15 mg/l and of phosphorus below 1 - 2mg/l;

(ii) industry:

to limit the nutrient content of relevant industrial effluents not entering municipal waste water treatment plants by applying Best Available Technology; and

(iii) agriculture:

to aim at achieving an environmentally acceptable relationship between crop uptake and the amount of nutrients applied in manure and fertilizer and to that end:

* to establish regulations for the handling and application of manure and fertilizers, including the use of manure and fertilizer application plans or records;

* to ensure the availability of adequate manure storage or treatment capacity for the longest period during which the application of manure is restricted;

* to promote extensification measures, in particular alternative methods of arable farming and livestock management; and

* to take measures to prevent inputs of manure and fertilizers into water bodies.

13. To agree to establish common assessment and reporting procedures for calculating the reduction of nutrients and the determination of the sensitive areas referred to in paragraphs 10 and 12, for consideration at the fourth North Sea Conference in 1995.


Sewage sludge

14. To note with pleasure that almost all North Sea states have stopped the dumping of sewage sludge at sea.

15. To note that the United Kingdom has given a firm undertaking to stop dumping of sewage sludge as soon as possible and has also undertaken to draw up programmes by the end of 1990 to phase out this practice completely, and at the very latest at the end of 1998.

16. To invite the Paris Commission to undertake before 1992 a review of alternative methods of handling and disposal of sewage sludge aiming at developing clean and low waste technology.

Industrial Waste

17. To note with pleasure that almost all North Sea states have stopped dumping at sea of industrial waste covered by paragraph 22(a) of the London Declaration.

18. To note that the United Kingdom has given a firm undertaking to end industrial waste dumping as soon as possible and no later than by the end of 1992, with an extension into 1993 only if absolutely necessary on technical grounds and excluding new dumping licences. Any continuing dumping will be covered by paragraph 22(a) of the London Declaration.

Dredged materials

19. To take further action to improve the quality of dredged materials disposed of in the North Sea by reducing inputs of contaminants to rivers and estuaries.

20. To request the Oslo Commission to complete its review of guidelines on the Disposal of Dredged materials in the light of recent scientific information by 1991.

21. To apply the Oslo Commission's revised guidelines for dredged material to all disposals of dredged material into estuarine and saline waters discharging into the North Sea and to provide available information on disposals of dredged material into estuarine and saline waters discharged into the North Sea from 1988.

22. To invite the Oslo Commission to examine further measures to control the inputs of pollutants from the dumping of anthropogenical contaminated dredged materials and to consider the establishment of an environmental assessment procedure, which should take into account landbased alternatives, regionally defined environmental quality criteria and dispersion characteristics.

Incineration at sea

23. To reaffirm the status of marine incineration as an interim method of waste treatment and agree:

(i) to phase out such operations by 31 December 1991; and

(ii) to seek urgent agreement on this date within the Oslo Commission by 31 December 1990.


24. To improve control and enforcement and to deter all ships from contravening the requirements of MARPOL 73/78, and to this end:

24.1 to take concerted action within the International Maritime Organization to identify explicit rights and obligations of port states to monitor and control the operational requirements of the various safety and pollution prevention Conventions;

24.2 to intensify control by port states by ensuring that ships are regularly inspected for compliance with operational requirements for pollution prevention and safety and to make efforts to harmonize control procedures, preferably within the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control and to provide the necessary resources for such control; and

24.3 to take action aimed at improving the deterrents against violations and the collection of sufficient evidence for the prosecution of violators in accordance with Annex 2A.

25. To improve legal instruments and rules aimed at the minimization of intentional pollution, agree that the application of the precautionary principle requires the application of the Best Available Techology in order to minimize discharges of wastes and residues, and to this end:

25.1 to take concerted action within the International Maritime Organization:

(i) to make discharge requirements for oily wastes and residues under Annex I (oil) of MARPOL 73/78 more stringent on a global basis in accordance with Annex 2B;

(ii) to make the requirements for cargo unloading arrangements on chemical tankers and the requirements for the discharge of chemical wastes and residues into the sea under Annex II (noxious liquid substances in bulk) of MARPOL 73/78 more stringent on a global basis in accordance with Annex 2C; and

(iii) to establish effective measures to minimize air pollution from ships in accordance with Annex 2D; and

25.2 to implement measures whereby the discharge of sewage into the coastal zones of the North Sea states, from ships engaged in international voyages between North Sea ports and which are certified to carry more than 50 persons, is only permitted in accordance with the sewage discharge requirements of Annex IV (sewage) of MARPOL 73/78.

26. To minimize accidental pollution and, in accordance with Annex 2E, to this end:

26.1 to improve legal instruments aimed at minimizing accidental oil pollution from ships;

26.2 to reduce the risk of packaged goods being lost at sea by implementing the latest form of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code from 1 January 1991, and when Annex III of MARPOL 73/78 (harmful substances carried in packaged form) enters into force to implement the amended and more stringent version; and

26.3 to improve the possibility of recovering these goods.

27. To continue applying stringent control procedures, verifying that ships dispose of harmful residues and wastes to shore reception facilities in compliance with the requirements of MARPOL 73/78, and to promote the use of these facilities, and to this end:

27.1 to take further concerted action to make shore reception facilities available at reasonable costs or without charging special fees to the individual ships, ensuring that the best environmental objectives are met and by considerably improving the standard of service; and

27.2 to continue the dissemination of appropriate information to seafarers, in particular by publishing a brochure on the availability of facilities for the reception of residues and wastes and the procedures for the use of such facilities in ports.


28. To further reduce operational discharges from offshore installations and to this end:

28.1 to eliminate, if necessary by steps, the pollution caused by oil contaminated cuttings and to this end:

(i) to develop national action plans before 1991, aiming at prohibiting discharges of oil contaminated cuttings and to present these plans to the Paris Commission in 1991;

(ii) to request the Paris Commission to co-ordinate this work and to work out criteria for the definition of oil contaminated cuttings in accordance with Annex 3A;

(iii) to prohibit discharges of all oil contaminated cuttings from exploration and appraisal wells by 1994; and

(iv) to request the Paris Commission to decide not later than 1992, based on the outcome of their work as laid out in Annex 3A, on a practical and achievable date for prohibiting the discharge of all oil contaminated cuttings;

28.2 to request the Paris Commission to continue its investigation on the oil content of production water and displacement water of existing and new offshoreinstallations with a view to indicating whether a 30 ppm oil content of discharges is technically feasible and to report before 1992 to the meeting of the Oslo and Paris Commission at ministerial level in 1992; and

28.3 to request the Paris Commission to develop and adopt a harmonized mandatory control system for the discharge and use of chemicals offshore and related measures, in accordance with Annex 3B.

29. To take initiatives towards the further improvement of safety and reduction of the risk of calamities involving offshore installations, of the management of risks to the marine environment arising from offshore activities and accidents and to request the Paris Commission to assess, on the basis of information available from national offshore safety authorities and from the North Sea Offshore Authorities Forum, the risks such accidents pose to the marine environment.

30. To agree that specific conditions in the North Sea require specific safeguards in order to protect the marine environment from the disposal of installations or parts thereof and to this end to invite the Oslo Commission to continue its work in developing guidelines with the aim of ensuring that offshore installations are disposed of in an environmentally satisfactory manner.


31 To continue to apply the Best Available Technology to reduce radioactive discharges, including the disposal of natural substances whose radioactivity has been enhanced by human activities, and to this end:

31.1 to extend regulation of radioactive discharges to non-nuclear industrial processes as appropriate; and 31.2 to invite Governmental Authorities and relevant International Organizations such as IAEA, OECD/NEA and CEC:

(i) to review the possibilities and effectiveness of Best Available Technology for minimizing risks associated with discharges of radioactive substances from all sources (nuclear industries as well as other industries whose effluents contain radioactive substances), taking into account economic and social factors; and

(ii) to take steps in order to develop guidelines for the application of Best Available Technology.

32. To agree that, in accordance with the recommendations of the competent International Organizations the North Sea is not suitable for the dumping of radioactive waste nor for disposal of such waste into the seabed.(5)


33. To improve the effectiveness of airborne surveillance in particular by using the possibilities of airborne surveillance as a tool for adequate control and surveillance at sea and as an aid to the enforcement of existing regulations and to this end to encourage the Contracting Parties to the Bonn Agreement:

33.1 to continue to develop remote sensing techniques especially to identify pollution and polluters under conditions of bad visibility and difficult weather;

33.2 to continue the development of reliable methods to estimate the total level of oil pollution of the sea arising from oil spills based on statistically elaborated observations of oil spills from aircraft; and

33.3 to ensure a balanced coverage of the North Sea, commensurate with the present shipping intensity and offshore activities, and if necessary increase the surveillance effort in those areas where likely results would be beneficial.


34. To give high priority to the implementation of the measures agreed in this Declaration which are likely to have a special significance for the Wadden Sea, an area which is of vital importance for the North Sea as a whole, and to this end:

34.1 to take note of the Joint Statement of the Wadden Sea states as contained in Annex 4;

34.2 to implement, where appropriate, the recommendations of the Wadden Sea states; and

34.3 to invite the Wadden Sea states to continue to report on the progress made with respect to the protection of the Wadden Sea and to continue to recommend policies which are important for the protection of this area to North Sea Conferences.


35. To further enhance the scientific knowledge and understanding of the North Sea ecosystem as a basis for future measures, and to this end:

35.1 to invite the North Sea Task Force:

(i) to continue to implement its programme, and in particular to assess research carried out on exceptional algal blooms and on the epidemic death of seals and to extend the biological monitoring programme of the coastal waters;

(ii) to address in the 1993 Quality Status Report on the overall ecological situation of the North Sea and its coastal waters the following sensitive issues:

* the impact of fishing activities on the North Sea ecosystem;

* surveillance of chemicals not usually covered in routine monitoring programmes;

* the environmental impact of persistent chemicals;

* the role of atmospheric inputs as a source of contaminants to the North Sea; and

* the assessment of existing damage;

(iii) to elaborate techniques for the development of ecological objectives for the North Sea and its coastal waters;

(iv) to elaborate first proposals for possible methods for the reconstruction of already damaged ecosystems and the protection of ecosystems still intact, on the basis of the 1993 Quality Status Report;

(v) to co-ordinate relevant actions and measures with regard to the protection of species and habitats; and

(vi) to establish a notification system for epidemic or major pollution incidents in the marine environment not at present covered by existing systems of communication;

35.2 to make available the necessary resources in order to implement these actions and the harmonized programme of monitoring, modelling and research established by the North Sea Task Force; and

35.3 to consider the possibilities of developing analytical tools to assess and compare the effects that policy decisions will have on the North Sea.


36. To co-ordinate action, with the aim of increasing coastal state jurisdiction, in accordance with international law, including the possibility of establishing Exclusive Economic Zones in the areas of the North Sea where they do not exist and to that end request the Government of the Netherlands to initiate the co-ordination of this action and to submit the findings to the North Sea Ministers by the beginning of 1992. This, without prejudice to the completion of the delimitation of the continental shelves of all riparian states of the North Sea and to the rights to be derived therefrom.


37. To reduce the risk of damage to the marine environment of accidents involving ships and to this end:

(i) stranded or sunken ships and/or cargoes lost at sea and which constitute threats of harm to the marine environment should be removed where appropriate, or otherwise rendered harmless;

(ii) states undertaking such operations should be compensated for the costs involved; and

(iii) such compensation should in principle be obtained from the polluters in question.

38. To improve the conditions for such removal and to this end:

38.1 to endeavour to obtain the early entry into force of the Salvage Convention;

38.2 to actively contribute to the work of the International Maritime Organization in preparing the Convention on Hazardous and Noxious Substances; and

38.3 (i) to undertake an investigation into the various aspects of the rendering harmless of sunken ships and/or their hazardous cargoes in the North Sea region and, if necessary to consider the implementation of appropriate measures. This investigation will cover, inter alia, salvage capacity, technical aspects and financial aspects and take into account developments within the IMO. The Commission of the European Communities is requested to co-ordinate this action; and

(ii) to take concerted action within the International Maritime Organization with the aim of ensuring sufficient salvage capacity on a world-wide basis.


39. To give further protection to marine wildlife in the North Sea and to tackle important gaps in knowledge which remain, and to this end:

39.1 to invite states that have not yet ratified the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (Bonn 1979) to do so as soon as possible;

39.2 to welcome the Memorandum of Understanding on Small Cetaceans in the North Sea, as an interim step towards the conclusion of a regional agreement on the protection of small cetaceans between North Sea and Baltic Sea coastal states under the Bonn Convention (1979);

39.3 to investigate the possibilities of using beached oil pollution victims among seabird and coastal birds as indicators for the effectiveness of the actions in this Declaration under the headings "Pollution from Ships" and "Pollution from offshore installations"; and

39.4 to improve the protection of marine wildlife and to that end to adopt, in accordance with Annex 5, a common and co-ordinated approach for developing species and habitat protection and develop appropriate conservation measures for the North Sea, especially with regard to seals, sea- and coastal birds, habitat and site protection.


40. To consider both the impact of fisheries (including fish farming) on the North Sea ecosystem and the impact of the marine environment on fisheries resources, also in relation to the socio-economic value of fisheries. In view of the above and the conclusions of the World Commission on Environment and Development on renewable resources, to continue their efforts aimed at reducing the pollution of the North Sea and agree to request the responsible authorities:

40.1 to continue their efforts aimed at ensuring that the fishing activities and the level of fishing effort in the North Sea are compatible with maintaining the fish stocks as a renewable resource at a satisfactory level and avoiding destabilisation of the ecosystem; and

40.2 to stimulate further research aimed at a better understanding of

(i) the relationships between fish stocks; and

(ii) the impact of pollution on fisheries and the relationship between fish stocks, fisheries and the other components of the ecosystem.


41. To agree to inform and, where necessary, to consult with any state likely to be significantly affected by the construction of an installation with a significant adverse impact on the North Sea environment, where an Environmental Impact Assessment is required by either national or international law.

42. To ensure that where two or more states share a common body of water, the relevant authorities of those countries co-operate to ensure that the significant adverse environmental effects on that body of water of a proposal (including where appropriate the effects of related proposals and cumulative effects) are fully investigated before a decision on that proposal is made.


As regards future work the participants made the following arrangements:

In principle a working group meeting at ministerial level will be held in 1993:

(i) to discuss the 1993 Quality Status Report of the North Sea

(ii) to evaluate the actions taken within IMO on Annex I and Annex II of MARPOL 73/78 and to decide which additional measures are required, including declaring the North Sea a Special Area under these Annexes; and

(iii) to discuss the problems encountered with the implementation of the North Sea Conference Declaration with regard to nutrients and pesticides; the ministers of agriculture will be invited to participate in this meeting.

A Fourth International Conference on the Protection of the North Sea will be held in 1995 at the kind invitation of the Government of Denmark.

Officials will meet as regularly as necessary during the intervening years in order:

(i) to closely follow the implementation of the North Sea Conference Declarations; and

(ii) to assess the need for further international action to achieve the jointly agreed goals, drawing on the experience and on the established procedures of the relevant international organizations, in particular the Oslo and Paris Commissions.

Appropriate resources will need to be made available to these organizations with due regard to the tasks requested from them in this Declaration.

A Scientific Symposium will be organized to assess the 1993 Quality Status Report of the North Sea including ecological aspects and to develop a basis for further measures to protect the North Sea.

This seminar will be hosted by Denmark.

The Fourth International Conference on the Protection of the North Sea will address, inter alia, the following issues:

(i) the progress made in reducing pollution of the North Sea and in implementing measures agreed during previous Conferences;

(ii) the national experience regarding control and enforcement of measures taken with respect to the reduction of hazardous substances and the need for further improvements;

(iii) the current environmental status of the North Sea and the need for further measures, based, inter alia, on the 1993 Quality Status Report; and

(iv) global perspectives of the experience gained through the joint efforts of the participants.

The North Sea states and the European Community will actively participate in the meeting of the Oslo and Paris Commissions at ministerial level to be held in 1992 in France.

Furthermore, the North Sea states and the Commission of the European Communities declare their intention

(i) to implement, where appropriate, the above Declaration into national or EEC legislation; and

(ii) to increase substantially their contributions to the secretariat of the Oslo and Paris Commissions in order to give them the necessary resources to carry out their commitment.


1 For the purposes of this Declaration the North Sea comprises the body of water: a) southwards of latitude 62 o N, and eastwards of longitude 5 o W at the north west side; b) northwards of latitude 57 o 44.8' N from the northern most point of Denmark to the coast of Sweden, and c) eastwards of longitude 5 o W and northwards of latitude 48 o 30' N, at the south side.

2 Throughout this Declaration, the term 'Best Available Technology' is understood to take into account

3 In the context of this Declaration hazardous substances are defined as "(groups of) substances that are persistent, toxic and liable to bioaccumulate".

4 In the context of this Declaration hazardous PCB-substitutes are defined as "persistent, bioac-cumulative organic compounds with hazard and structure characteristics comparable to those revealed by PCBs".

5 The United Kingdom was unable to accept this provision on grounds that competent international authorities have not declared this method of disposal unsuitable. The United Kingdom's position is, nevertheless, that it has no present intention of any such disposals.





































34.......Dichloroethane 1,2-......*............107062





Part (a) Agreed measures

Chlor-alkali plants

1. Existing mercury cell chlor-alkali plants should be phased out as soon as practicable on a national basis with the objective that they should be phased out completely by 2010.

2. Mercury based chlor-alkali plants should be required to meet, by 1996 a limit value of 2g Hg/t Cl2 capacity for emissions to the atmosphere, unless there is a firm commitment that the plant will be converted to mercury-free technology by the year 2000.

3. Mercury in hydrogen which is released to the atmosphere, or is burnt, shall be included in this standard.

Mercury in batteries

The content of mercury in alkaline manganese batteries should be limited to 0.025%. Alkaline manganese batteries for certain specialized applications where, due to technical reasons, the mercury content cannot be limited to 0.025%, should be excluded. These batteries should not exceed 2% of all batteries in question.

Aluminium scrap smelting

1. To the extent that Best Available Technology allows it, to reduce the use of hexachloroethane in aluminium smelters with a view to its elimination by the end of 1992, in order to minimise the formation of hazardous chlorinated organic substances, such as dioxins.

2. To invite the Paris Commission to prepare proposals containing a time scale for the complete elimination of hexachloroethane for adoption at the meeting of the Oslo and Paris Commissions at ministerial level in 1992.

Pulp industry

1. From 1995, as a first step, the discharge of chlorinated substances should not, as an average, exceed the following values for each mill:

Bleached softwood Kraft pulp:......2 kg of AOX/tADP; (1)

Bleached hardwood Kraft pulp:......1 kg of AOX/tADP;

Bleached sulphite pulp:......1 kg of AOX/tADP.

or any other equivalent limit values if more suitable parameter(s) have been identified.

2. To invite the Paris Commission to examine as soon as possible, whether more suitable parameters than AOX for chlorinated substances can be identified and to develop regulations by 1995 at the latest for Best Available Technology to be used for the production of Bleached Kraft Pulp and in doing so, to aim at a maximum content not exceeding 1 kg of AOX/tADP for all sorts of Bleached Kraft Pulp, or an equivalent limit value, if more suitable parameter(s) have been identified.


To reaffirm their intention to intensify measures in hand to reduce inputs of oil from refineries, and to this end to make progress towards the implementation of the standards contained in the Recommendation 89/5 of the Paris Commission, setting emission standards for discharges of oil from refineries.

Part (b) Examples of product control measures


Recycling or replacement of mercury in fluorescent tubes, thermometers and discharges from dentists.


Reduction of the cadmium content in commercial phosphate fertilizer. Ban or regulation on use of cadmium as stabilizer or pigment in plastics.


Arrangements for return of lead-accumulator batteries. A ban on the use of lead shot.


Approval system or regulations on the use of chromium in impregnation agents and paints.


Approval system or regulations on the use of arsenic in impregnation agents and paints.


Approval system or regulations on the use of copper in impregnation agents, paints and antifouling agents.


Working towards an international agreement of regulations on the use of tributyltin on ships longer than 25 m.

Part (c)

The use of the following substances as pesticides must be strictly limited or banned:


Carbon tetrachloride......Chlordane



Endrin......Fluoroacetic acid and its derivates


Hexachlorocyclohexane (a and ß isomers)......Mercury compounds


Polychlorinated terpenes......Quintozene

The following substances would have been included in the above list but they are not currently in use as pesticides.


Lead compounds......Cadmium compounds

Captafol......Chlordecone (Kepone)





Selenium compounds......2,4,5-T

Part (d) Examples of measures to reduce inputs of pesticides

1. Promotion of non-chemical means of pest control.

2. Improvement of control on the disposal of surplus pesticides and of pesticide containers.

3. Reduction of the use of pesticides via optimization of their application.

4. Inspections and type approval of spraying equipment.

5. Strict regulation of spraying in or near water.

6. Strict regulation of spraying from aircraft.

7. Education of farmers to take account of the health and environmental effects and early warning services.

8. Development of damage threshold values (damage of crops), prognosis and early warning services.

9. Provisional approval of pesticides, including testing of their effectiveness as a pesticide.

10. Paying particular attention to persistent pesticides which may reach surface waters via soil and groundwater.

11. Promotion of extensification measures.

12. Development of measures to quantify and to control diffuse inputs into water bodies from agriculture.

13. Ensure to use plant protection agents only in line with reliable expert practice.

14. Limitation of plant protection agents which tend to seep and which are persistent.


1) AOC/tADP=absorbable organic halogens per tonne air dry pulp.



1. To request the Paris Commission to continue its work on internationally agreed definitions of Best Available Technology for particular processes and for Best Environmental Practice for reducing pollution from specified diffuse sources, and to regard the activities listed in the "Reference List of Priority Activities" as priorities for this work.

2. To apply at the national level the Best Available Technology and Best Environmental Practice as defined by the Paris Commission with special reference to the priority substances listed in Annex 1A.

3. As regards the atmospheric emissions of the activities listed in the "Reference List of Priority Activities", to take the following measures to reduce atmospheric emissions of the substances specified in Annex 1A:

(i) identification of the best available technology for the listed point sources and making every effort to reduce atmospheric emissions from new and existing industrial installations;

(ii) the adoption of measures to control the production, sale, use and disposal of the listed substances, and products containing these substances, where diffuse sources give rise to atmospheric emissions; and

(iii) the adoption of enhanced monitoring and inspection procedures to ensure compliance with regulations to reduce inputs to the North Sea via the atmosphere, and adoption of rigorous measures against infringements.


Activities......Examples of substances......Water......Air

Point sources

Aluminium industry......fluoride, PAHs......*......*

Iron and steel industry......heavy metals, chlorinated paraffins, mineral oil, dioxins, PAH, dust......*......*

Non-ferrous metal industry......heavy metals, dioxins, halo-genated aromatics, dust......*......*

Fertilizer industry......cadmium......*......*

Pulp and paper industry......chlorinated substances, dio-xins, persistent organic sub stances, AOX......*......*

Textile industry......persistent organic substances, AOX......*......

Organic chemical industry:

- pharmaceutical industry......halogenated aromatics, persistent organic substances......*......*

- production of halogenated hydrocarbons......halogenated aromatics, halogenated hydrocarbons......*......*

- production of dichloroethane and vinylchloride......halogenated hydrocarbons......*......*

- petrochemical industry......oil......*......

- refineries......mineral oil, phenol......*......*

- production and formulation of pesticides......pesticides......*......*

- production of glycerol......halogenated hydrocarbons......*......*

- others......mineral oil, PAHs, persistent organic substances......*......*

Chlor alkali industry......mercury......*......*

Surface treatment......heavy metals, chlorinated substances, persistent organic substances......*......*

Production of pigments, paints, inks and enamels......heavy metals, TiO2-waste......*......*

Production and tanning of leather......Cr, AOX, pesticides......*......

Shipyards......metals, oil......*......


- oil......oil mineral......*......*

- ores......heavy metals ......*......*

Burning of fuels:

- power generation (oil, coal)......heavy metals, PAHs......*......*

- others (eg wood, coke ovens)......PAHs, benzene, phenol, cyanide......*......*

- traffic......lead, PAHs............*

Waste incineration......heavy metals, dioxins, dust......*......*

Reception facilities......mineral oil, chemical residues......*......

Dry cleaning......halogenated hydrocarbons......*......*

Diffuse sources


Storage, shipment and trans-shipment of chemicals and petroleum products, cleaning of tanks and barrels......halogenated hydrocarbons, benzene......*......*

Wood preservation......heavy metals, PAHs, PCP, TBT......*......*


1 Best Available Technology will in principle be applied to all sectors of this Annex, starting, however, with those sectors which cause the highest pollution.



As regards initiatives to improve the setting of priorities for taking future measures with regard to the reduction of inputs of substances to the North Sea via rivers, estuaries and the atmosphere:


To request the Paris Commission to investigate:

(i) the occurrence of possible harmful effects in the marine environment of brominated flame retardants, polychlorinated naphthalenes and chlorinated paraffins;

(ii) the possibilities of reducing inputs of these substances as far as possible; and

(iii) possible measures to reduce inputs of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and nonylphenol-etoxylates.


To request the Paris Commission to co-operate with other relevant international organizations, in particular the executive body of the Geneva Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution Convention:

(i) to elaborate by 1991 the order of magnitude of emissions of the hazardous substances specified in Annex 1A as reaching the aquatic environment of the North Sea via the atmosphere as a basis for setting priorities for reduction measures for such emissions;

(ii) to elaborate by 1991 principles and methodologies for establishing inventories of emissions to the atmosphere; and

(iii) to determine, between 1991 and 1995, on the basis of these principles and methodolo-gies, those substances for which priority action should be taken.


1. To welcome the initiative of the Commission of the European Communities to undertake, in close co-operation with Member States of the European Community and States which are not members of the European Community:

(i) to develop internationally and regionally applicable criteria for the identification of substances dangerous to the aquatic environment with the aim of achieving a selection scheme;

(ii) to use the selection scheme for at least the substances listed below in order to compile a draft list of additional priority substances hazardous to the aquatic environment; and

(iii) to introduce the selection scheme and the draft list of additional priority substances before the Fourth North Sea Conference.

2. To regard the substances listed below as a common reference list, which will be used as a basis for the further development of national lists of priority substances.



Chlorohexane, 1-......n.a.


Dichloroethane, 1,1-......75343

Dichlorohexane, 1,6-......n.a.

Dichloromethane (methylenechloride)......75092

Dichloropropane, 1,2-......78875








Tetrachloroethane, 1,1,2,2-......79345

Trichloroethane, 1,1,2-......79005

Trichlorotrifluoroethane, 1,1,2-......76131



Chloroethene (vinylchloride)......75014

Chloropropene, 3- (allylchloride)......107051

Chloro-1,3-butadiene, 2- (chloroprene)......126998

Dichloroethene, 1,1-......75354

Dichloroethene, 1,2-......540590

Dichloropropene, 1,3-......542756

Dichloropropene, 2,3-......78886





Chloroantrachinone, 2-......131099

Chloronaphthalene [all isomers]......n.a.



Hexachloronorbornadiene, 1,2,3,4,7,7-......3389717







Chlorodinitrobenzene [mixed isomers]......25567673

Chloronitrobenzene, 2-......89214

Chloronitrobenzene, 3-......88733

Chloronitrobenzene, 4-......121733

Chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene, 1-......97007

Dichlorobenzene, 1,2-......95501

Dichlorobenzene, 1,3-......541731

Dichlorobenzene, 1,4......106467

Dichloronitrobenzene [all isomers]......n.a.

Dinitrobenzene, 1,3-......99650


Fluoro-4-isocyanatobenzene, 1-......1544689

Isopropylbenzene (cumene)......98828


Nitro-1-isopropylbenzene, 4-......1817476


Tetrachlorobenzene, 1,2,4,5-......95943



Amino-4-chlorophenol, 2-......95852

Benzyl-4-chlorophenol, 2-......120321

Chlorophenol, 2-......95578

Chlorophenol, 3-......108430

Chlorophenol, 4-......106489

Chloro-3-methylphenol, 4-......59507

Dichlorophenol, 2,3-......576249

Dichlorophenol, 2,4-......120832

Dinitro-2-methylphenol (dinitro-o-cresol, DNOC)......1335859

Dodecylphenol [mixed isomers]......27193868

Methoxy-4-propenylphenol, 2-......97541

Methylethylideenbisphenol, 4,4'-......80057

Methylphenol, 2-......95487

Nonylphenol, 4-......104405


Trichlorophenol [all isomers]......95954



Butyltoluene, 4-tert-......98511

Chloroaminotoluene [all isomers] (chlorotoluidine)......n.a.

Chloronitrotoluene [all isomers]......n.a.

Chlorotoluene, 2-......95498

Chlorotoluene, 3-......108418

Chlorotoluene, 4-......106434

Chlorotoluene, alpha- (benzylchloride)......100447

Dichlorotoluene, alpha, alpha- (benzylidenechloride)......98873

Dinitrotoluene, 2,3-......602017

Dinitrotoluene, 2,4-......121142

Ethyltoluene [mixed isomers]......25550145


Trifluoro-2-nitrotoluene, alpha-......384225

Trifluoro-3-nitrotoluene, alpha-......98464

Trifluoro-3-nitro-4-chloro-toluene, alpha-......n.a.

Trifluoro-4-nitrotoluene, alpha-......402540

Xylene, 1,2-......95476

Xylene, 1,3-......108383

Xylene, 1,4-......106423



Chloroaniline, 2-......95512

Chloroaniline, 3-......108429

Chloroaniline, 4-......106478

Chloro-2-nitroaniline, 4-......121879

Dichloroaniline [all isomers]......n.a.

Dichlorophenoxy-4-aniline, 2,4-......14861177





Diphenylchloro arsine......712481

Ethyldichloro arsine......598141


Tetracarbonyl nickel......13463393

Tetraethyl lead......78002




Diaminodiphenyl, 4,4'- (benzidine)......92875

Dichlorodiaminodiphenyl [all] (dichlorobenzidine)......n.a.



Diphenylamine, N,N-......122394

Ethanediamine, 1,2-, N(4-bromophenyl)methyl-......33855479

Isoxazolamine, 5-......14678058

Trichloro-1,3,5-triazine, 2,4,6-(cyanuric chloride)......108770





Chloroacetic acid......79118

Chloroethanol, 2-......107073



Dichloropropionic acid, 2,2-......75990

Dichloro-2-propanol, 1,3-......96231


Diphenoxymethanal (carbonic acid, diphenylester)......102090




Ethyl-1-hexanol, 2-......104767




Phtalic acid (benzenedicarbonic acid, 1,2-)......90193763

Trichloroacetic acid......76039

Trichloroethanal (chloral, trichloroacetaldehyde)......302170

Trimethyl-1-hexanol, 3,5,5-......3452979

















Dibutyltin salt [all]......n.a.

Dichlorobenzonitrile, 2,6-......1194656

Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, 2,4-(D, 2,4-)......94757

Dichlorophenoxypropanoic acid, 2,4-(dichlorprop)......120365










Methyl-4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid, 2-(MCPA)......94746

Methyl-4-chlorophenoxypropanoic acid, 2-(MCPP)......93652







Pyrazone (chloridazon)......1698608





Mineral oil......8012951



A. As to improving the deterrence against violations of the requirements of MARPOL 73/78 and the collection of evidence:

1. action will be taken at national level, in consultation with the authorities of the North Sea states responsible for prosecution, aimed at improving both the collection of sufficient evidence of alleged contraventions and the international exchange thereof, thus enabling effective prosecution of all violations of the provisions of MARPOL 73/78; and

2. action will be taken aimed at increasing the acceptability of this information as evidence in court:

(i) by inviting the Contracting Parties to the Bonn Agreement and competent international bodies to produce a manual explaining the systems of airborne surveillance and other methods used in identifying offenders, and for obtaining evidence; this manual should be addressed to authorities in charge of detecting violations, to Prosecutors and to Courts; and

(ii) the International Maritime Organization could then be invited to evaluate and adopt the manual produced by the Contracting Parties to the Bonn Agreement.

B. As to the discharge requirements for oily wastes and residues under Annex I of MARPOL 73/78 the following initiatives will be taken in the International Maritime Organization:

1. to make the present discharge standards for oily wastes and residues from machinery spaces of all ships as presently applicable in near coastal zones and Special Areas applicable to all sea areas, so that permitted discharges do not exceed 15 ppm; and

2. with respect to the discharge standard for oily wastes and residues from the cargo tanks of oil tankers outside Special Areas, to take concerted action to reduce the permitted discharge of oil into the sea from 60 to 30 litres per nautical mile.

C. As to the requirements for unloading arrangements on chemical tankers and the requirements for the discharge of chemical wastes and residues into the sea under Annex II of MARPOL 73/78, the following initiatives will be taken in the International Maritime Organization:

1. to improve the requirements for piping, pumping and cargo-unloading arrangements for chemicals regulated under Annex II by using the Best Available Technology, so as to ensure that chemical tankers unload all their cargoes to specified minimal residue quantities; and

2. with respect to the discharge standards for chemical wastes and residues, to make the present discharge requirements more stringent for all sea areas by ensuring that no discharges exceed specified minimal quantities.

D. As to the minimization of air pollution from ships, proposals containing reduction objectives and target dates will be submitted to the International Maritime Organization with respect to the following:

(i) limitation of the emission of harmful components in exhaust gases;

(ii) development of suitable quality standards for heavy fuels, in particular concerning the content of sulphur, chlorine and heavy metals and including the prohibition of adding chemical waste;

(iii) application of Best Available Technology to reduce nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide emissions;

(iv) reduction, with the intention of eliminating, the use of chemical compounds on board ships which are known to affect the ozone-layer such as chloro-fluorocarbons and halons; and

(v) development of suitable measures to control the emission of hydrocarbons and other harmful vaporizing fluids.

E. As to the minimization of accidental pollution the following steps will be taken:

1. to give full support to the initiative by the International Maritime Organization to review the adequacy of international conventions aimed at the improvement of technical standards and on-board procedures in order to prevent and mitigate accidents causing oil spills threatening the marine environment;

2. to make every effort to provide the technical bodies of the International Maritime Organization with the most exhaustive results of investigations of accidents and other studies so as to assist them in deciding to what extent technical standards and on-board procedures can be improved and to introduce proposals for such improvements;

3. to ensure that after an accident information on dangerous and harmful substances carried by sea in packaged form is readily available to those authorities and organizations who have to deal with the aftermath of the accident in order to mitigate the consequences thereof:

(i) to continue the present joint action within the International Maritime Organization to amend the SOLAS and MARPOL Conventions so as to make it mandatory for ships before leaving port to provide the Port Authorities with detailed information about the hazardous cargoes on board; and

(ii) to consider the possibility for developing a reporting, information and monitoring (RIM)-system for ships carrying dangerous goods in the North Sea; and

4. to take concerted action within the International Maritime Organization to develop guidelines and checklists for ensuring that the Code of Safe Practice for Stowage and Securing Cargo will be implemented at all times.



A. As regards the co-ordination of the work of the Paris Commission on the elimination of pollution by oil contaminated cuttings, the Paris Commission is requested:

1. to review the developments in this field, and to work out criteria for the definition of "oil contaminated cuttings"; and

2. in doing this to take into account all possible alternatives, e.g..

(i) alternative technology (e.g. full application of water-based muds);

(ii) alternative cuttings cleaning technology;

(iii) land-based disposal of oil contaminated cuttings; and

(iv) alternative disposal offshore.

B. As regards the development of a harmonized mandatory control system for the discharges and use of chemicals offshore, the Paris Commission is requested:

1. to develop such a system based on an evaluation of the environmental effects of these chemicals and taking into account considerations such as:

(i) the exclusion of substances listed at Annex A Part I of the Paris Convention; and

(ii) the evaluation of toxicity for marine species of different trophic levels, biodegradability and potential for bioaccumulation;

2. to establish a monitoring and reporting system for discharges and use of chemicals offshore, including the type and quantity of the chemicals; and

3. to take measures, in 1991 at the latest, in order to reduce the input of substances listed at Annex A, Part II of the Paris Convention into the North Sea arising from the use of chemicals offshore.




1. The Wadden Sea is a nature area of wide international importance and vital for the ecological functioning of the North Sea. In view of the strong interdependence between the Wadden Sea and the North Sea, it is essential that an integrated and comprehensive approach to the protection of the North Sea marine environment and its living resources is applied.


2. In order to further enhance the protection of the Wadden Sea and safeguard its function for the whole of the North Sea, the Wadden Sea states agree to take the following specific actions:

(i) the development of guidelines for the municipalities in the Wadden Sea area for reducing of the negative effects to the environment from certain activities, a.o. from tourism, especially:

* the necessary capacity and high performance for sewage treatment plants in the near coast-line adjacent to the Wadden Sea;

* equipment of harbours especially for leisure boats, with reception facilities, eliminating to the maximum extent all pollution from ships operating in the Wadden Sea; and

* restrictions of sport and tourist activities in sufficiently large areas;

(ii) the development of policies to reduce considerably the emission of pesticides and nutrients from agricultural activities in the countries adjacent to the Wadden Sea;

(iii) the development of principles to end activities to gain new arable land in the Wadden Sea area by land reclamation;

(iv) the obligation of environmental impact assessments for the construction or major modification of new bridges, dikes, port facilities and off-shore installations in the Wadden Sea area;

(v) the obligation of environmental impact assessments for the construction of waste disposal facilities, especially for sewage sludge and for harbour dredged materials;

(vi) the prohibition of all discharges from off-shore installations directly into the Wadden Sea or into adjacent areas;

(vii) the development of an integrated joint monitoring programme for the Wadden Sea;

(viii) the development of an early warning system for detecting qualitative and quantitative changes in the Wadden Sea and its sediment; and

(ix) ensuring that all activities in shipyards within the Wadden Sea area (in particular those which cause adverse effects of toxic anti-fouling treatment) are carried out in an environmentally acceptable way and eliminating all effluents from shipyards liable to damage the Wadden Sea environment.

3. The Wadden Sea states agree to a specific transboundary early warning and information procedure for the Wadden Sea making use of existing systems and organizations, with a view to enhancing co-operation and efforts in case of incidents with hazardous substances that may have noxious effects in the coastal waters of the Wadden Sea.

4. The Wadden Sea states are concerned about the enhanced greenhouse effect and the consequent sea level rise, which is a very serious threat to the long term preservation of the Wadden Sea and other wetlands along the North Sea coast and elsewhere in the world. Wadden Sea states support the important work by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and specifically support the actions mentioned in the Noordwijk Declaration on Atmospheric Pollution and Climatic Change (November 1989).


Harmful Substances

5. The Wadden Sea states are of the opinion that action should be taken within relevant international organizations (PARCOM, OSCOM, EC, IMO etc.) to ensure that sufficiently high priority is given to the aim of reducing the harmful impact on the environment and, where necessary, the phasing out of PAHs, pesticides and other persistent compounds.

Phasing out of PCBs and PCTs

6. Scientific research strongly indicates that PCBs and PCTs cause reproductive failure in seals and harm to the marine environment in general. The Wadden Sea states therefore urge the complete phasing out of these substances as soon as possible and request the North Sea states to:

(i) establish a time-schedule for the most efficient phasing out of PCBs and PCTs;

(ii) establish a national registration system for existing uses; and

(iii) install adequate and sufficient incineration capacity for their ultimate destruction.


7. In order to increase efforts towards the elimination of operational pollution by harmful substances and the minimization of accidental discharges of such substances by shipping, the Wadden Sea states recommend:

(i) the establishment of a system to provide information concerning vessels carrying hazardous chemical substances; and

(ii) the establishment of a system which will facilitate the recovery of lost cargo containers, in particular those loaded with dangerous and harmful substances.

Atmospheric Pollution

8. The Wadden Sea states urge the Third International Conference on the Protection of the North Sea to reach agreement on measures with the aim of substantially reducing total atmospheric inputs of pollutants on the basis of criteria to be agreed upon, reaching directly or indirectly the aquatic environment of the North Sea and more specifically the Wadden Sea.

9. The Wadden Sea states call upon the Third International Conference on the Protection of the North Sea to invite the competent international bodies (e.g. the EC, Paris Commission, Executive Body of the Geneva Convention on Long-Range Transboun-dary Air Pollution) to prepare steps aiming at substantial reductions, particularly by identification of the best available technology for industrial processes and other point sources giving rise to atmospheric emissions of hazardous substances, and by identification of measures to control the emission at production, sale, use and disposal of these substances, and products containing these substances, where diffuse sources give rise to atmospheric emission of these substances.

Conservation of Wildlife

10. Considering the wide international importance of the Wadden Sea for the conservation and management of wildlife and the ecological interrelationships between the Wadden Sea and the North Sea, the Wadden Sea states request the North Sea littoral states to take measures to conserve, protect and, where necessary, restore the wildlife of the North Sea, in particular with respect to:

(i) the making of inventories of the occurrence of endangered or otherwise unfavourable conserved migratory species and on the basis thereof the initiation of common action within the Bonn Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals;

(ii) the establishment of joint action programmes to restore vulnerable or depleted populations of wildlife; the action programme of the Wadden Sea states to restore the seal population may serve as an example;

(iii) the inclusion of important coastal and esturial wetlands of the North Sea in the List of Wetlands of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention; and

(iv) the establishment of nature reserves in these areas and the inclusion of the monitoring of wildlife species in the monitoring activities.

11. The Wadden Sea states urge the North Sea states to support initiatives within the framework of international nature conservation organizations, such as the Bonn, Bern and Ramsar Conventions.



1. To collaborate on research initiatives with the assistance of the North Sea Task Force:

1.1 common and grey seals population studies including migration, diet, disease and environmental factors, survey techniques; establishment of a blood and tissue bank for future study of pathogens and contaminants; establishment of a data inventory including planned research;

1.2 studies to establish the source and characteristics of the 1988 seal epidemic, including immune response and the role of contaminants; identification of vulnerable colonies, their causes of decline, quality of habitat, and restoration techniques;

1.3 an international register recording all reports of strandings of marine mammals including external characteristics, post mortem analysis, age, health, contaminant analysis and relevant research; and

1.4 an investigation of ways beached sea- and coastal birds can be used as an indicator to assess and compare the effectiveness of policy decisions made on the reduction of oil pollution, and to this end:

(i) consider how far the percentage of oil polluted birds on the total of beached birds can be used as an indicator; and

(ii) consider possibilities to intensify chemical analysis of oil samples taken from beached indicator species for comparison with detected oil spills.

2. Survey of sites and areas - to be reported to and co-ordinated by the North Sea Task Force, with the assistance of lead countries:

2.1 to integrate and update national data on sea- and coastal birds at sea on a standardized basis to enable identification of vulnerability standards for species and areas; to be available to pollution response authorities and sea users; and

2.2 to carry out surveys of marine sites including coastal, esturial and open sea areas in order to identify sites of national or international importance, in accordance with criteria to be adopted by the North Sea Task Force for relevant species and communities.

3. To implement appropriate methods for conservation management and protection for the sites identified in 2.2 above. These may include:

(i) designation under the Ramsar Convention or the European Communities Bird Directive;

(ii) potentially damaging operations to be subject to a mandatory notification scheme for such coastal sites, including salt marshes and inter-tidal areas, and consultation in other areas offshore;

(iii) legal controls over particular sea uses in designated areas; and

(iv) the taking of appropriate measures to conserve or restore common seal populations severely depleted by disease or pollution, including restrictions on killing and disturbance, and the provision of reserves with controlled public access allowing seal colonies to be re-established without disturbance.