Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

Non-Indigenous Species

General Information

Most of the data on non-indigenous species (NIS) is obtained through biological monitoring programs. These programs cover biological parameters and concern mobile and sessile species, water column and seabed habitats. NIS monitoring addresses all ecosystem components as NIS may belong to any trophic levels and affect the functioning of the system.

According to the BWM Convention, ships will be required to implement the ballast water management unless an exemption has been granted following a risk assessment to assess whether a ship is on a voyage posing a high or low risk of spreading alien species. The results of previous HELCOM projects revealed the crucial need for data on alien species and environmental conditions in ports, which is a pre-requisite for carrying out reliable risk assessments. In order to fill in those gaps, a second project on alien species (HELCOM ALIENS 2) was launched. It concluded in December 2012 providing a proposal for a regionally harmonized method for granting exemptions from BW treatment for marine traffic in the Baltic Sea.

Subprogramme: Non-indigenous species

The HELCOM core indicator ‘Trends in arrival of new non-indigenous species’ is linked to the monitoring undertaken in the sub-programme.

Responsible HELCOM Subsidiary Bodies

State and Conservation

Contact information: HELCOM Secretariat