The Søndeled fjord-system (Østerfjorden, Nordfjorden, Sørfjorden and Kranfjorden) is situated at the southern coast of Norway. It is separated from the open Skagerrak by islands and sounds. There are fisheries of cod in the fjord and shallow areas with eel-grass are important nursery grounds. Some mussel plants are located in the fjord-system. The fjord is considered moderately eutrophicated due to input of nitrogen from local sources as well as long-distance transport with currents from the European continent. The watershed constitutes both urban and rural settings and is about 516 km2. A river with a mean flow of about 8 m3/s enters the innermost basin. In addition about 2 m3/s of freshwater enter the fjord-system via brooks and as diffuse run-off. The nutrient loading is primarily from diffuse sources. Only 3-4% of the watershed is agriculture fields, while about 70% is forest. The outer part is most urbanized with about 6000 inhabitants, and there is also somewhat industrialized. In the Kranfjorden there is chemical pollution of the sediments from earlier wood-processing industry. Shoreline development with constructions as houses, cottages, landing stages, piers/quays, cables and pipes frequently has lead to conflicting interests in the area.The area is important for recreation and tourism. There are commercial fisheries and mussels plants in the fjord-system.
Policy issues: Increase local economic benefits from tourism, while minimizing negative impacts on local coastal cod stock, and conflicts with local users of the fjord system.
Fish and lobster stock assessment. Marine protected areas for European lobster. Establishing of artificial reefs for European lobster. Causes to, and effects of oxygen deficiency. Habitat mapping and development of GIStools for ICZM. Improvement of the coastal zone plans. Conflicts related to shoreline development. Benefits and drawbacks of mussel production.
Policy changes: Increasing effort to include marine resource and user area in the coastal zone planning. Stricter enforcement and control regarding building activity in the coastal zone. Establishing of MPA.
Future Policy changes: Assessment (EIA), incorporating the EU directive on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). EU directives (e.g. water framework, Habitat, Nature 2000)