Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission


Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

Environment Fact Sheets

The aim of the HELCOM Baltic Sea environment fact sheets (BSEFS)1  is to provide information on the recent state of and trends in the Baltic marine environment. The Baltic Sea environment fact sheets are compiled by scientists in various research institutes around the Baltic Sea.  

At present, the Baltic Sea environment fact sheets inform about:

  • hydrographic variations (temperature, salinity, inflows and runoff)  which largely regulate the marine life
  • inputs and concentrations of nutrients and hazardous substances
  • plankton blooms and species composition
  • radioactivity
  • illegal oil discharges

A Baltic Sea environment fact sheet presents information using data obtained by HELCOM monitoring programmes:

  • Pollution Load Compilations (PLC-Air and PLC-Water)
  • Cooperative Monitoring in the Baltic Marine Environment – COMBINE
  • Monitoring of Radioactive Sustances (MORS)

Baltic Sea environment fact sheets vs. core indicators

In addition to these fact sheets, HELCOM is working to develop a set of core indicators that measure progress towards reaching the ecological objectives defined in the Baltic Sea Action Plan. So far, there are core indicators for measuring the status the marine environment in terms of eutrophicationbiodiversity and hazardous substances.

Many core indicators have been developed from HELCOM Baltic Sea environment fact sheets. Baltic Sea environment fact sheets lack quantitative targets for measuring progress towards good ecological/environmental status and thus do not qualify as core indicators, however, they do provide important supporting data and information for core indicators and other HELCOM assessment products.

1 The 17th meeting of the HELCOM Monitoring and Assessment Group (HELCOM MONAS 17/2012) decided that “HELCOM indicator fact sheets” should be renamed as “Baltic Sea Environment Fact Sheets” (BSEFSs) to differentiate them from HELCOM Core Indicators, which are used for follow-up of the Baltic Sea Action Plan.