Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission


Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission


HELCOM Checklist of Baltic Sea Species 2.0 (BaltiCheck), 2018-2019

The amount of data available in the Baltic Sea area is unprecedented for a marine region. However, data are often stored independently, only exist as static spreadsheets and are not available to the general public.

The aim of the BaltiCheck project is to consolidate and make the data within HELCOM about species and their distribution publically available, link this information to the HELCOM Checklist information and develop an accessible database to store the consolidated data. Collating the data in a joined database will ensure access to region wide information with open access to the public.

The main steps for upgrading the HELCOM Checklist of Baltic Sea Species are:
1)     a) Collate available temporal and spatial data on Baltic Sea species already available within HELCOM.
         b) Develop a simple open access database, populate the database with the available data and;
          c) A possible data call to complement the data in the database, which in turn feeds into the checklist.
2)      Update the checklist. All the available information will be crosschecked with the data from the 2011 checklist. 

The database itself will function as a backbone for information about species and their spatial as well as temporal occurrence in the Baltic Sea. Collating already available data will increase the usability of already provided data by regional and national institutions. Furthermore, the process can help identifying data-gaps and facilitate the aggregation of any missing information.

Overall the BaltiCheck project provides the necessary information to analyse individual species, entire species groups as well as biodiversity on a regional scale. Consequently, the database will be a valuable resource for modelling, analyses, assessment and evaluation work, including for biodiversity, biogeography, and future prospects under a changing climate and can be used for current as well as future projects at HELCOM and on a national level.

For more information please contact

Jana Wolf
HELCOM BaltiCheck
Project Coordinator