Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission


Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission




The main objective of the project which starts in June 2012 and ends in 2014 is to develop guidelines for a scientifically sound, well-coordinated, optimised and cost-effective joint HELCOM monitoring programme which provides the necessary data for HELCOM‟s Baltic-wide indicator-based assessment activities, focusing on the state of the marine environment but also on human-induced pressures impacting the status. The guidelines will be presented to HELCOM MONAS for endorsement and subsequently to HELCOM for adoption.
The main objectives of the project are:

  • Summarize and list the required parameters, processes and products, including those identified by TARGREV and CORESET that must be monitored/produced to meet the requirements of the Baltic Sea Action Plan, HELCOM Ministerial declarations and for HELCOM States being also EU Members especially the EU Water Framework Directive and EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
  • Identify gaps in the current programmes based on the outcome of the aforementioned HELCOM projects and the requirements of the EU Directives
  • Define the parameters as well as their spatial and temporal observation needs, making use where possible of previous studies (e.g. PEX, HELCOM MON-PRO, the EU projects ODON and ECOOP);
  • Prepare revised guidelines for a joint programme fulfilling the requirements of the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan and Declaration of the Moscow Ministerial Meeting, as well as for the EU Member countries the needs of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the EU Water Framework Directive.

Revised HELCOM monitoring should result in cost-effective joint coordinated monitoring which supports the implementation of the ecosystem approach to the management of the marine environment in the Baltic Sea region. The revised guidelines for a joint monitoring programme will satisfy the criticism contained in the „Joint Final Report on the Audit of Environmental Monitoring and Fisheries Management and Control in the Baltic Sea, January 2009‟, which stated that the existing COMBINE measuring network is not based on scientific research.


The project work will consist of the following activities:

  1. The first task of the HELCOM MORE project will be to make an inventory of all existing regular marine monitoring in the HELCOM Convention area, including an overview of the data being regularly reported to common databases.
  2. The second task is to use the outcomes of the HELCOM TARGREV and CORESET projects and compare them with the requirements of the EU WFD and MSFD and the HELCOM BSAP requirements as the basis for monitoring requirements. The national Initial Assessments, determinations of GES as well as targets and indicators made for the implementation of the EU WFD and MSFD will be used too as they become available.
  3. In assessing the state of the art of current monitoring and comparing it with the monitoring needs identified e.g. by the HELCOM projects and the Initial Assessments, HELCOM MORE will identify where there are gaps in the HELCOM monitoring programmes.
  4. The subsequent step is scientific analysis and review of monitoring programmes to provide the basis for optimising the observation network where possible. This analysis will include the use of various statistical methods. The details of the methodology will be agreed upon by the project group. The analysis that was carried out by SMHI during the HELCOM MON-PRO process should also be scrutinized as well as the results of EU projects such as ODON and ECOOP. The joint high-resolution Alg@line data and NPZD model results will be relevant and used in the work.
  5. The current use, availability and usefulness of remote sensing and unattended in situ detection methods (“new platforms”) will be analysed and assessed in relation to the commonly used monitoring methods. The use of mathematical models to support monitoring will be evaluated.
  6. The project will analyze costs of monitoring and propose cost-effective new concepts by sharing both costs and work load.


The main outcomes of the HELCOM MORE project will be:

  1. Background report providing a detailed overview of all operational monitoring (activity, pressure, state and impact monitoring) in the HELCOM Convention area, including an overview of the data that is being regularly reported to the common databases
  2. Scientific analysis of the monitoring programmes to provide further scientific basis for the optimization of the monitoring network for pressure and state variables.
  3. Evaluation of the cost-effectiveness of the HELCOM monitoring programmes, including an analysis of the benefits of joint coordinated monitoring including new concepts for sharing the costs and the work load.
  4. Final report containing guidelines for the revised HELCOM monitoring programme.


Mr. Manuel Frias
Project coordinator
Project Coordinator
Tel: +358 46 850 9209
Skype: helcom23

Ms. Ulla Li Zweifel
Professional Secretary

(Gear WG, State and Conservation WG)
Tel: +358 46 850 9198 ​
Skype: helcom64