Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission


Baltic Sea species

The HELCOM Red List 2013 consists of the results of two extensive assessment projects: the Red List of Baltic Sea Species in danger of becoming extinct and the Red List of Baltic Sea underwater biotopes, habitats and biotope complexes. These Red Lists are the outcome of four years of work with contributions from about 100 experts from all coastal countries of the Baltic Sea.

The Red Lists complete the tasks contained in the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan (2007) to produce a comprehensive HELCOM Red List of Baltic Sea species and to update HELCOM Red lists of Baltic habitats/biotopes and biotope complexes by 2013.


No basic lists of species that live in the Baltic Sea or their habitats have existed and little is known about those species and habitats that are under threat of extinction due to human activities or natural environmental variability. Reliable knowledge of the Baltic Sea’s ecosystem structure and function is essential when planning sustainable use of the sea space and protecting the marine environment. In response to this urgent need, the HELCOM RED LIST project is working to produce a comprehensive Red List of Baltic Sea species as well as updating the Red Lists of Baltic Sea biotopes and biotope complexes.  

Who will benefit from the Red Lists?

Red Lists are valuable tools for those working in all sectors related to the Baltic Sea, such as infrastructure planners, politicians, decision makers, lawyers and conservationists. They are also easily accessible sources of information for the general public. Ascribing a Red List threat category to a species or a biotope highlights which of the thousands of species and biotopes are in most urgent need of special attention and conservation efforts.​