HELCOM core indicators

HELCOM uses core indicators with quantitative threshold values to evaluate progress towards the goal of achieving good environmental status in the Baltic Sea. Core ​indicator evaluations are regularly updated and published as core indicator reports.

Read more​ about ​the decisions by Contracting Parties on indicator adoption, ​as well as definitions of core indicators, pre-core-​ and candidate indicators​. 

Can't find what you're looking for? Please also check Baltic Sea Environment Fact Sheets​.
​​​Colours refer to
Baltic Sea Action Plan

​​

In the list below, faded headings mark the core indicators soon to​ be published.
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
Abundance of coastal fish key functional groups
Status
Thriving and balanced communities of plants and animals
D1 - Biodiversity
1.6 Habitat condition
Yes
Biodiversity
 
Abundance of key coastal fish species
Status
Thriving and balanced communities of plants and animals
D1 - Biodiversity
1.2 Population size
Yes
Biodiversity
 
Abundance of salmon spawners and smolt
Status
Viable populations of species
D1 - Biodiversity
1.2 Population size
Yes
Biodiversity
 
Abundance of sea trout spawners and parr
Status
Thriving and balanced communities of plants and animals
D1 - Biodiversity
1.2 Population size
Yes
Biodiversity
 
Abundance of waterbirds in the breeding season
Status
Viable populations of species
D1 - Biodiversity
1.2 Population size
Yes
Biodiversity
 
Abundance of waterbirds in the wintering season
Status
Viable populations of species
D1 - Biodiversity
1.2 Population size
Yes
Biodiversity
 
Chlorophyll-a
Status
Natural level of algal blooms
D5 - Eutrophication
5.2 Direct effects of nutrient enrichment
Yes
Eutrophication
 
Cyanobacterial bloom index
Status
Natural level of algal blooms
D5 - Eutrophication
5.2 Direct effects of nutrient enrichment
Yes
Eutrophication
 
Diatom/Dinoflagellate index
Status
Thriving and balanced communities of plants and animals
D4 - Food webs
4.3 Abundance/distribution of key trophic groups/species
No
Biodiversity
 
Distribution of Baltic seals
Status
Viable populations of species
D1 - Biodiversity
1.1 Species distribution
Biodiversity
 
Hexabromocyclodocecane (HBCDD)
Status
Concentrations of hazardous substances close to natural levels
D8 - Contaminants
8.1 Concentration of contaminants
Hazardous substances
 
Inputs of nitrogen and phosphorus to the basins
Pressure
Concentrations of nutrients close to natural levels
D5 - Eutrophication
Annex III
Yes
Eutrophication
 
Metals (lead, cadmium and mercury)
Status
Concentrations of hazardous substances close to natural levels
D8 - Contaminants
8.1 Concentration of contaminants
Hazardous substances
 
Nitrogen/DIN
Status
Concentrations of nutrients close to natural levels
D5 - Eutrophication
5.1 Nutrients levels
Yes
Eutrophication
 
Number of drowned mammals and waterbirds in fishing gears
Pressure
Viable populations of species
D1 - Biodiversity
Annex III
Biodiversity
 
Nutritional status of seals
Status
Viable populations of species
D1 - Biodiversity
1.3 Population condition
No
Biodiversity
 
Operational oil-spills from ships
Pressure
Safe maritime traffic without accidental pollution
D8 - Contaminants
Annex III
No
Maritime activities
 
Oxygen debt
Status
Natural oxygen levels
D5 - Eutrophication
5.3 Indirect effects of nutrient enrichment
Yes
Eutrophication
 
Perfluorooctane sulphonate (PFOS)
Status
Concentrations of hazardous substances close to natural levels
D8 - Contaminants
8.1 Concentration of contaminants
Hazardous substances
 
Phosphorus/DIP
Status
Concentrations of nutrients close to natural levels
D5 - Eutrophication
5.1 Nutrients levels
Yes
Eutrophication
 
Polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and their metabolites
Status
Concentrations of hazardous substances close to natural levels
D8 - Contaminants
8.1 Concentration of contaminants
No
Hazardous substances
 
Polybrominated biphenyl ethers (PBDE)
Status
Concentrations of hazardous substances close to natural levels
D8 - Contaminants
8.1 Concentration of contaminants
No
Hazardous substances
 
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) and dioxins and furans
Status
Concentrations of hazardous substances close to natural levels
D8 - Contaminants
8.1 Concentration of contaminants
No
Hazardous substances
 
Population trends and abundance of seals
Status
Viable populations of species
D1 - Biodiversity
1.2 Population size
No
Biodiversity
 
Radioactive substances: Cesium-137 in fish and surface seawater
Status
Radioactivity at the pre-Chernobyl level
D8 - Contaminants
8.1 Concentration of contaminants
No
Hazardous substances
 
Reproductive disorders: malformed embryos of amphipods (supplementary indicator)
Status
Concentrations of hazardous substances close to natural levels
D8 - Contaminants
8.1 Concentration of contaminants
No
Hazardous substances
 
Reproductive status of seals
Status
Viable populations of species
D1 - Biodiversity
1.3 Population condition
No
Biodiversity
 
State of the soft-bottom macrofauna community
Status
Thriving and balanced communities of plants and animals
D4 - Food webs
4.3 Abundance/distribution of key trophic groups/species
No
Biodiversity
 
TBT and imposex
Status
Concentrations of hazardous substances close to natural levels
D8 - Contaminants
8.1 Concentration of contaminants
No
Hazardous substances
 
Total nitrogen (TN)
Status
Concentrations of nutrients close to natural levels
D5 - Eutrophication
5.1 Nutrients levels
No
Eutrophication
 
Total phosphorus (TP)
Status
Concentrations of nutrients close to natural levels
D5 - Eutrophication
5.1 Nutrients levels
No
Eutrophication
 
Trends in arrival of new non-indigenous species
Status
No introductions of alien species from ships
D2 - Non-indigenous species
2.1 Abundance and state characterization of non-indigenous species, in particular invasive species
No
Maritime activities
 
Water clarity
Status
Clear water
D5 - Eutrophication
5.2 Direct effects of nutrient enrichment
Yes
Eutrophication
 
White-tailed eagle productivity
Status
Healthy wildlife
D8 - Contaminants
8.2 Effects of contaminants
No
Hazardous substances
 
Zooplankton mean size and total stock (MSTS)
Status
Thriving and balanced communities of plants and animals
D4 - Food webs
4.3 Abundance/distribution of key trophic groups/species
No
Biodiversity