Ecosystem overviews

Greater North Sea Ecoregion

State of foodwebs

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Characteristics of the North Sea foodweb are a high production by autotrophic organisms which in turn are consumed by zooplankton and benthos, followed by fish, seabirds, and mammals. The North Sea foodweb is one of the most studied ones in the ICES area. In the past big fish, including elasmobranchs, were major predators in the ecosystem. The North Sea foodweb can now be considered as perturbed as many of these big fish are either absent or present only in reduced numbers. The recovering of these big fish populations will likely have consequences for the large forage fish populations in the North Sea (herring, sprat, sandeel, and Norway pout).​​​​

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The major components of the Greater North Sea foodweb. Click on the image to view interactive chart.
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Greater North Sea Ecoregion

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