The North Sea-Baltic corridor is multimodal and connects the Baltic Sea region with the countries of the North Sea region, improving the accessibility of the northern Member States and the connection between the northwest and the northeast of the European Union. The corridor passes through Belgium, the Netherlands, and northern Germany, Poland and then north through the Baltic States. Since its extension in 2021, the whole of Finland and the northern part of Sweden are part of the corridor and a section in Poland up to the border with Ukraine. As since its extension, the North Sea-Baltic Corridor now consists of 8828 km of railways, 6934 km of roads and 2839 km of inland waterways.
The European Coordinator met with the Latvian Minister of Transport, Tālis Linkaits, to discuss Rail Baltica and the need to exploit the Baltic 1520 network with the other Baltic states to develop a north-south connection through the Baltic states.
The European Coordinator met the new Estonian Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure, Riina Sikkut, to discuss the political priorities of the NSB corridor and the important role of Rail Baltica in the new geopolitical context. Witnessing the official launch of the Amber Train, the importance of developing north-south rail freight was also discussed.
The European Coordinator met with MPs Annely Akkermann and Andres Metsoja, and discussed the Rail Baltica, the north-south railway connections and the added value of a well-developed trans-European transport network for Estonia.
The main goal of the current study was to confirm the presence of minke whale pulse trains in a known summer feeding ground in the northern North Sea, and secondly to test the performance of the automated detector developed for minke whale pulse trains from the western North Atlantic, on long-term recordings from the North Sea. Finally, detection results were investigated to determine seasonal and diel occurrence patterns of minke whales and explore the possibility to improve, and spatio-temporally extend, current monitoring of this species in UK and adjacent Northeast Atlantic areas using PAM.
Seasonal distribution of minke whale pulse trains in 2016, expressed as the proportion of hours per day with detections for each recording location (ordered from north to south; see Fig. 1). Missing data indicated by grey lines, and distance to shore and depth given for each recording location.
The results of this study are to our knowledge the first confirmation of minke whale pulse train detection in the well studied Moray Firth summer feeding ground and adjacent North Sea waters9,13,14. Minke whale pulse trains were detected at several sites of this shallow, coastal PAM array. While minke whale pulse trains have been described on one occasion from the west coast of Scotland30, few other acoustic recordings of this species from UK coastal waters exist. However, these vocalisations have recently been described in detail from the Northwest Atlantic28 and have also been detected further north in the Northeast Atlantic31, and on several large-scale acoustic arrays in the central North Atlantic32,33. Low-frequency minke whale pulse trains recorded in the current study closely resemble those documented in the central and Northwest Atlantic28,33. A more detailed study is necessary to elucidate the potential for geographic variation in call types or call repertoire. However, notwithstanding the potential for such regional variability, the similarities between acoustic signals recorded in this study with calls recorded in other parts of the Atlantic, allowed the unequivocal identification of species-specific minke whale vocalisations and assessment of spatio-temporal distribution patterns based on these acoustic data.
Further evidence of the potential long-term value of rigs in the North Sea and elsewhere comes from the marine wildlife often abundant around shipwrecks. For instance, recent surveys have highlighted a cornucopia of marine life among the 52 German warships that were scuttled in Scapa Flow off the Orkney islands in northern Scotland at the end of the First World War.
After reaching its maximum extent at around 27,000 years ago, the latest ice sheet in the North Sea remained relatively stable for a few thousand years4. At Dogger Bank, the southern margin of the ice sheet retreated northwards by around 24,000 years ago, but then its retreat slowed once it was off Dogger Bank9. The ice sheet remained stable in the North Sea until about 22,000 years ago, until it began to unzip from the Scandinavian Ice Sheet16, separating completely by 20,000 years ago17. 59ce067264