Many fish species in the Baltic Sea are dependent on shallow and sheltered near-shore habitats for their spawning, nursery, feeding and migration. Still, the role of these essential fish habitats, EFH, for the development and support for fish production has received little attention. As coastal EFH often are found in areas heavily impacted by humans, they are subject to many threats and therefore management needs are urgent. EFH also provide and support important ecosystem services and are included in national/international agreements and legislative acts. Despite this, the conservation status of EFH is generally poor in the region. Due to these shortcomings and needs, a workshop was set up to review the importance and protection of as well as threats to coastal EFH in the Baltic Sea. This report describes the outcome of the workshop and future directions for work in this research area.
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