Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

HELCOM activities in 2023 highlighted in annual report

The HELCOM Annual Report 2023 has been published. The report provides a comprehensive overview of our activities, including the achievements and challenges in the great range of working areas HELCOM deals with.

In 2023, these included Species and habitats, Spatial conservation and MPAs, Agriculture, Nutrients, Hazardous substances, Marine litter, Seabed, Underwater noise and energy, Shipping, Response to spills, Submerged hazards, Fisheries, Maritime Spatial Planning, Climate change, Economy and society, Monitoring and assessment as well as International processes.

The major events of the year for HELCOM included the launch of the holistic assessments of the state of the Baltic Sea (HOLAS 3) and the ongoing strategic pause of HELCOM.

“The publication of HELCOM’s Third Holistic Assessment of the Baltic Sea (HOLAS 3) in 2023 offered stark and startling new insights into what we are up against in seeking to protect our regional marine environment. [It] does not present a pretty picture. In a nutshell: there was little to no improvement of the Baltic Sea environment during the assessment period.

Yet HOLAS 3 is not all gloom and doom. While it underscores the urgency of transformative action in all socioeconomic sectors across the entire Baltic Sea region, it also shows that measures to reduce pressures on the Baltic Sea do have a beneficial effect, if duly implemented.”

Rüdiger Strempel, Executive Secretary of HELCOM

Download the full report here.