As of 01 June 2017 00:00hrs UTC new shipping routes along the Belgian and Dutch (south) coast will apply. The North Sea is one of the busiest seas in the world (fishery, marine aggregate mining, oil & gas, renewable energy (wind/tidal), tourism etc) and to improve safety and flow of marine traffic, Belgian and Dutch authorities have together decided to adjust the shipping routes.
Smooth and safe passage for ships, taking into account both economic and ecological interests are priorities and current routing falls short.
The proposed routes include a new Traffic Separation Scheme, modifications of recommended routes and precautionary areas, changes to anchorages and reorganizing areas around existing wind farms.
The new routes will lead to safer and easier navigation reducing the risk for accidents and pollution.
Dutch and Belgian authorities have started a media campaign to inform all users, both international and national, commercial and recreational of the new routes. New maps are expected to become available April 2017.