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Biodiversity and conservation

Biodiversity and conservation. flamingo. Great auk. sturgeon. grey whale. Flamingos, pelicans, and Great Auk were once found along the southern shores of the North Sea, but went extinct over the 2nd millennium. Gray whale also resided in the North Sea but were driven to extinction in the Atlantic in the 1600s Other species have seen dramatic declines in population, though they are still to be found; right whales, sturgeon, shad, rays, skates and salmon among other species were common in the North Sea into the 20th century, when numbers declined due to overfishing. Other factors like the introduction of non-indigenous species, industrial and agricultural pollution, trawling and dredging, human-induced eutrophication, construction on coastal breeding and feeding grounds, sand and gravel extraction, offshore construction, and heavy shipping traffic have also contributed to the decline. The OSPAR commission manages the OSPAR convention to counteract the harmful effects of human activity on wildlife in the North Sea, preserve endangered species, and provide environmental protection. All North Sea border states are signatories of the MARPOL 73/78 Accords which preserves the marine environment by preventing pollution from ships. Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands also have a trilateral agreement for the protection of the Wadden Sea, or mudflats, which run along the coasts of the three countries on the southern edge of the North Sea.

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