Project collaborations


Improving regional coherence in the implementation of marine strategies through improved data flow, assessments, and knowledge base for development of measures

Lead Organization: Helsinki Commission HELCOM, Finland

Duration: 2015 - 2016 

ICES contact: Sebastian Valanko, Advisory Programme Professional Officer

Project objectives:

Theme 1: Biodiversity, focuses on development of a biodiversity assessment tool and improving data arrangements for the biodiversity elements where this is limited (e.g. coastal fish, birds and seals) so that a comprehensive assessment of biodiversity in the Baltic Sea can be carried out by 2018.

Theme 2: Hazardous substances, will refine an existing HELCOM tool for assessing the status hazardous substances. Key components for adequate assessment of hazardous substances are to agree on matrices for indicators and to have access to quality assured data.

Theme 3: Physical loss and damage to seabed habitats, will explore ways to determine how much disturbance from different activities that specific seabed habitats can tolerate while remaining in Good Environmental Status (GES). Regular collection of data and information on pressures and activities that affect the Baltic Sea will be piloted, to provide support to this Theme as well as future assessment of pressures impacting the Baltic Sea.

Theme 4: Noise, focuses on Underwater Noise and will review existing knowledge on impact of noise in the Baltic Sea, explore the possibility to determine acceptable levels of underwater noise for marine species, and survey possible measures to manage and mitigate relevant impacts on the Baltic Sea.

Theme 5: Joint documentation of PoMs, will support the development of a joint document on regional coordinated Programmes of Measures and a system to follow-up actions agreed by HELCOM.

ICES role:

  • Theme 1: Support for the operational implementation of the Large Fish Indicator (LFI) and Mean maximum length (MML) indicator that link data related to the bottom and pelagic trawls, and acoustic data
  • Theme 2: Support the operational implementation of the data and assessment tool for hazardous substances based on the HELCOM COMBINE datasets
  • Theme 3: Contribute to developing joint principles for HELCOM to determine how much disturbance the seafloor can tolerate, while remaining in Good Environmental Status (GES). Peer review a tool that will be developed by the project for assessing the impacts of fishing gear on specific habitat types.

This project has received funding from the European Commission, DG Environment grant agreement

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