Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

Red List of Benthic Invertebrates

Photo: Essi Keskinen

In all, 19 macrozoobenthic species were considered threatened in the HELCOM Red List assessment. One species, an amphipod Haploops tenuis, was categorised as Endangered (EN) and eighteen species as Vulnerable (VU). Most of the threatened species are restricted to the western part of the HELCOM area with many occurring mainly in the Kattegat.

Nine species were classified Near Threatened (NT) and 23 species as Data Deficient (DD). Altogether, 51 species were red-listed in this assessment.

Of the almost 1 900 species included in the Baltic Sea checklist, 627 (33%) were left unevaluated (Not Evaluated). For these species the information required for the assessment was missing, for example due to the fact that the species never or only occasionally become sampled in normal monitoring.
It is quite likely that eutrophication has played a significant role in the negative development for many of the red-listed benthic invertebrates. In the western HELCOM area, to which most of the red-listed species are restricted, the detrimental changes caused by eutrophication are the same as elsewhere in the Baltic Sea region, for example increased sedimentation and anoxia in bottom habitats.

Another important factor behind the declines is bottom trawling, which is very intense in some areas. Bottom trawling has a direct impact on benthic fauna on the actual site of trawling and causes turbidity and increased sedimentation over much larger areas.

Various construction activities, especially on the coast, have also had detrimental effects on bottom fauna. This includes sea defence or coast protection works, land reclamation, the construction of wind farms and dredging to deepen waterways, for example, as well as boulder fishing, which has decreased the amount of hard bottom habitats considerably in some areas in past decades.

Species Information Sheets


Species name
Threat categoryThreat criteria
HELCOM Red List Monoporeia affinisMonoporeia affinisLeast Concern (LC)
HELCOM Red List Haploops tenuisHaploops tenuisEndangered (EN)B1ab(i,iii)+2ab(ii,iii)
HELCOM Red List Clelandella miliarisClelandella miliarisVulnerable (VU)B1ab(i,iii)
HELCOM Red List Cliona celataCliona celataVulnerable (VU)D2
HELCOM Red List Deshayesorchestia deshayesiiDeshayesorchestia deshayesiiVulnerable (VU)B2ab(iii)
HELCOM Red List Epitonium clathrusEpitonium clathrusVulnerable (VU)B1ab(iii)
HELCOM Red List Haploops tubicolaHaploops tubicolaVulnerable (VU)B1ab(i,iii)+2ab(ii,iii)
HELCOM Red List Hippasteria phrygianaHippasteria phrygianaVulnerable (VU)B1ab(iii)
HELCOM Red List Hippolyte variansHippolyte variansVulnerable (VU)B1ab(iii)
HELCOM Red List Lunatia pallidaLunatia pallidaVulnerable (VU)B1ab(iii)
HELCOM Red List Macoma calcareaMacoma calcareaVulnerable (VU)A2c
HELCOM Red List Modiolus modiolusModiolus modiolusVulnerable (VU)A2c
HELCOM Red List Nucula nucleusNucula nucleusVulnerable (VU)A2c
HELCOM Red List Parvicardium haunienseParvicardium haunienseVulnerable (VU)B2ab(ii,iii)
HELCOM Red List Pelonaia corrugataPelonaia corrugataVulnerable (VU)D2
HELCOM Red List Scrobicularia planaScrobicularia planaVulnerable (VU)A2c
HELCOM Red List Solaster endecaSolaster endecaVulnerable (VU)B1ab(iii)
HELCOM Red List Stomphia coccineaStomphia coccineaVulnerable (VU)B1ab(iii)
HELCOM Red List Abra prismaticaAbra prismaticaVulnerable (VU)B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii)
HELCOM Red List Atelecyclus rotundatusAtelecyclus rotundatusVulnerable (VU)D2
HELCOM Red List Boreotrophon truncatusBoreotrophon truncatusNear Threatened (NT)B2ab(ii,iii)
HELCOM Red List Corophium multisetosumCorophium multisetosumNear Threatened (NT)B2b
HELCOM Red List Corystes cassivelaunusCorystes cassivelaunusNear Threatened (NT)D2
HELCOM Red List Inachus dorsettensisInachus dorsettensisNear Threatened (NT)B1ab(iii)
HELCOM Red List Mya truncataMya truncataNear Threatened (NT)A2c
HELCOM Red List Sabella pavoninaSabella pavoninaNear Threatened (NT)B1ab(iii)
HELCOM Red List Alderia modestaAlderia modestaNear Threatened (NT)B2a
HELCOM Red List Amauropsis islandicaAmauropsis islandicaNear Threatened (NT)B2ab(ii,iii,iv)
HELCOM Red List Ekmania barthiiEkmania barthiiData Deficient (DD)
HELCOM Red List Epitonium clathratulumEpitonium clathratulumData Deficient (DD)
HELCOM Red List Epitonium turtonisEpitonium turtonisData Deficient (DD)
HELCOM Red List Eurydice pulchraEurydice pulchraData Deficient (DD)
HELCOM Red List Gammarellus angulosusGammarellus angulosusData Deficient (DD)
HELCOM Red List Gammarus inaequicaudaGammarus inaequicaudaData Deficient (DD)
HELCOM Red List Geryon trispinosusGeryon trispinosusData Deficient (DD)
HELCOM Red List Inachus phalangiumInachus phalangiumData Deficient (DD)
HELCOM Red List Lekanesphaera rugicaudaLekanesphaera rugicaudaData Deficient (DD)
HELCOM Red List Limnoria lignorumLimnoria lignorumData Deficient (DD)
HELCOM Red List Macroplea pubipennisMacroplea pubipennisData Deficient (DD)
HELCOM Red List Myosotella myosotisMyosotella myosotisData Deficient (DD)
HELCOM Red List Orchestia gammarellusOrchestia gammarellusData Deficient (DD)
HELCOM Red List Palaemonetes variansPalaemonetes variansData Deficient (DD)
HELCOM Red List Pleurogonium rubicundumPleurogonium rubicundumData Deficient (DD)
HELCOM Red List Roxania utriculusRoxania utriculusData Deficient (DD)
HELCOM Red List Skeneopsis planorbisSkeneopsis planorbisData Deficient (DD)
HELCOM Red List Talitrus saltatorTalitrus saltatorData Deficient (DD)
HELCOM Red List Thia scutellataThia scutellataData Deficient (DD)
HELCOM Red List Upogebia stellataUpogebia stellataData Deficient (DD)
HELCOM Red List Vitreolina philippiVitreolina philippiData Deficient (DD)
HELCOM Red List Agrypnetes crassicornisAgrypnetes crassicornisData Deficient (DD)
HELCOM Red List Amphipholis squamataAmphipholis squamataData Deficient (DD)
HELCOM Red List Cryptonatica affinisCryptonatica affinisData Deficient (DD)
HELCOM Red List Pontoporeia femorataPontoporeia famorataLeast Concern (LC)
HELCOM Red List Saduria entomonSaduria entomonLeast Concern (LC)
HELCOM Red List Macroplea muticaMacroplea muticaLeast Concern (LC)