RECOGNIZING that seals are an irreplaceable component
of the Wadden Sea ecosystem and that they are of great
importance as indicators of its condition;
AWARE that they constitute a separate population
whose main range and the main migration routes are
located in the Wadden Sea and which should, as a consequence,
be managed as a single unit;
DEEPLY CONCERNED by the conservation status of that
population, which as the result of mass deaths of
seals has been reduced to the lowest level ever recorded;
WITH A VIEW to improving this conservation status
through concerted action on the part of the States
that exercise jurisdiction over the range of that
RECALLING the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory
Species of Wild Animals signed at Bonn on 23 June
1979 and notably its Appendix II which was amended
in 1985 to include the Wadden Sea population of the
common or harbour seal;
RECALLING the Joint Declaration on the Protection
of the Wadden Sea, adopted at the Third Governmental
Meeting on the Protection of the Wadden Sea in Copenhagen
on 9 December 1982;
RECALLING the Declarations adopted by the First International
Conference on the Protection of the North Sea, Bremen,
1 November 1984, and the Second International Conference
on the Protection of the North Sea, London, 25 November
RECALLING the trilateral Administrative Agreement
on a Common Secretariat for the Cooperation on the
Protection of the Wadden Sea of 23 October 1987;
HAVE AGREED as follows:
I. Relationship with the Convention
This Agreement shall be deemed to be an agreement
as defined in Article IV paragraph 4 of the Convention
on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals
signed at Bonn on 23 June 1979.
For the purpose of this Agreement:
a) "seal" means an animal of the species
b) the "Agreement Area" means the area
of water known as the Wadden Sea, including all sandbanks
therein as well as all shore areas of the North Sea
coasts of Denmark, the Federal Republic of Germany
and the Netherlands between Blaavandshuk to the north
and Den Helder to the west. The main ranges and the
main migration routes are located in the Wadden Sea;
c) "seal population" means all seals which,
at any time, are present in the Agreement Area;
d) "habitat" means any part of the Agreement
Area which is essential to the maintenance of the
vital biological functions of seals, including but
not limited to breeding, whelping, nursing, feeding
e) "Convention" means the Convention on
the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals
signed at Bonn on 23 June 1979;
f) the terms defined in Article I, sub-paragraphs
1 (a) to (d) and 1 (I) of the Convention shall have
the same meaning in this Agreement.
III. Purpose and Object
The Parties shall cooperate closely with a view to
achieving and maintaining a favourable conservation
status for the seal population.
IV. Conservation and Management
The Parties shall develop on the basis of scientific
knowledge a conservation and management plan for the
seal population. This plan shall contain a comprehensive
statement of actions which are or are to be undertaken
by the Parties to achieve the goals of this Agreement.
The Parties shall keep the plan under review and amend
it, as may be required, taking into consideration,
in particular, the results of scientific research.
V. Research and Monitoring
1. The Parties shall co-ordinate their research programmes
and projects and their monitoring of the seal population
to increase their knowledge of the biology and the
habitats including harmful effects of human activities
on the seal population to provide a basis for measures
to improve its conservation status.
2. They shall, in particular, monitor and co-ordinate
their research on,
a) population trends e.g. through periodic aerial
surveys and counts;
b) seal migration;
c) seal population parameters, e.g. diseases, survival,
age structure, sex ratio.
1. The Parties shall prohibit the taking of seals
from the Wadden Sea.
2. The competent authorities may grant exemptions
from the prohibition referred to in the first paragraph
authorizing persons to take seals:
- for institutions to be designated performing scientific
research into the conservation of the seal population
in the Wadden Sea or the conservation of the Wadden
Sea ecosystem, insofar as the information required
for such research cannot be obtained in any other
- for institutions to be designated nursing seals
in order to release them after recovery, insofar as
these are diseased or weakened seals or evidently
abandoned suckling seals.
Seals which are clearly suffering and cannot survive
may be killed by the persons referred to in this paragraph.
3. Any Party having granted exemptions as mentioned
above shall notify the other Parties as soon as possible
and provide them with an opportunity for review and
4. The Parties shall take appropriate action to suppress
illegal hunting and taking of seals.
1. The Parties shall take appropriate measures for
the protection of habitats. They shall pay due regard
to the necessity of creating and maintaining a network
of protected areas also in the migration areas of
the seals in the Agreement Area and of ensuring the
preservation of areas which are essential to the maintenance
of the vital biological functions of seals.
2. The Parties shall preserve habitats and seals
present from undue disturbances or changes resulting,
directly or indirectly, from human activities.
3. The Parties shall have regard to the protection
of habitats from adverse effects resulting from activities
carried out outside the Agreement Area.
4. The Parties shall explore the possibility of restoring
degraded habitats and of creating new ones.
The Wadden Sea States are determined to do their
utmost to further reduce pollution of the North Sea
from whatever source with the aim of conserving and
protecting the Agreement Area.
To this end they shall:
a) endeavour to identify the sources of such pollution;
b) co-ordinate their research projects regarding
seal diseases and the effects on the seal population
of such substances, e. g. organochlorine compounds,
heavy metals and oil, and agree on methods which permit
a comparison of research results;
c) monitor in the Agreement Area, in particular in
seal tissues and in organisms which are preyed upon
by seals, the levels of those substances which in
the light of the results of research appear to play
a major role in the conservation status of the seal
IX. Responsible Authorities
Each Party shall inform the other Parties of the
authorities which shall be responsible for the implementation
of this Agreement.
X. Public Awareness
The Parties shall take such measures as may be required
to make the general public aware of the conservation
status of the seal population, of the content and
aims of this Agreement, and of the measures they have
taken pursuant to this Agreement, including the Conservation
and Management Plan, to improve this conservation
XI. Amendment of the Agreement
Any Party may propose amendments to this Agreement.
Any such proposed amendment shall be submitted to
the Depositary and communicated by it to all Parties,
which shall inform the Depositary of their acceptance
or rejection of the amendment as soon as possible
after the receipt of the communication. The amendment
shall enter into force ninety days after the Depositary
has received notifications of acceptance of that amendment
frcm all Parties.
XII. Effects on International Conventions
and other Legislation
1. The provisions of this Agreement shall in no way
affect the rights or obligations of any Party deriving
from any existing bilateral or multilateral convention.
2. The provisions of this Agreement shall in no way
affect the right of Parties to adopt stricter domestic
measures concerning the conservation of seals.
XIII. Settlement of Disputes
1. Any dispute which may arise between the Parties
with respect to the interpretation or application
of the provisions of this Agreement shall be subject
to negotiation between the Parties involved in the
2. If the dispute cannot be resolved in accordance
with paragraph 1 of this Article within six months,
the procedure provided for in the European Convention
for the peaceful settlement of disputes of 29 April
1957 shall be followed.
The provisions of this Agreement shall not be subject
XV. Ratification, Acceptance, Approval
This Agreement shall be subject to ratification,
acceptance or approval. Instruments of ratification,
acceptance or approval shall be deposited with the
Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, which
shall be the Depositary.
XVI. Entry into Force
This Agreement shall enter into force on the first
day of the third month following the date of deposit
of the third instrument of ratification, acceptance,
approval or accession with the Depositary.
At any time, after the expiration of a period of
five years from the date of entry into force of this
Agreement, any Party may by written notice to the
Depositary denounce this Agreement with effect from
the end of a calendar year. This Agreement shall be
terminated twelve months after the Depositary has
received such notice.
1. The original of this Agreement, in the Danish,
Dutch, English and German languages, each version
being equally authentic, shall be deposited with the
Depositary. The Depositary shall transmit certified
copies of each of these versions to the States which
have signed the Agreement and the Secretariat of the
2. The Depositary shall inform all signatory States
and the Secretariat of the Convention of signatures,
deposit of instruments of ratification, acceptance,
approval or accession, entry into force of this Agreement,
amendments thereto, and notices of denunciation.
3. As soon as this Agreement enters into force, a
certified copy thereof shall be transmitted by the
Depositary to the Secretariat of the United Nations
for registration and publication in accordance with
Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations,
and to the Secretariat of the Convention.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, being duly authorized
to that effect, have signed this Agreement.
DONE at Bonn on 16 October 1990
For the Government of the Kingdom of Denmark
For the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany
For the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands