Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

New guide helps ships to reduce alien species via ballast water in the Baltic

​ has released today a to Alien Species and Ballast Water Management in the Baltic Sea, to mitigate the harmful impact of alien species and to inform stakeholders, i.a. mariners entering in the area. The new Guide provides an overview of the global and regional implementation measures applicable in the Baltic Sea he enclosed form, low salinity and relatively lively maritime traffic make the Baltic Sea prone to entrance and settlement of non-native species transmitted through ships ballast water. Shipping connects the region to a multitude of destinations all around the world and can thus not be addressed by Baltic Sea countries alone his global threat to the Baltic Sea is addressed by the 2004 International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments () of the International Maritime Organisation (). The BWM Convention aims to prevent the spread of harmful aquatic organisms from one region to another, by establishing standards and procedures for the management and control of ships’ ballast water and sediments ince the adoption of the BWM Convention the Baltic Sea coastal countries have cooperated within HELCOM Maritime Group in order to ensure an efficient and harmonised implementation of the Convention measures in the Baltic Sea area egional measures developed within HELCOM include recommendations regarding ballast water exchange, definitions of target species as well as delineating procedures for granting of exemptions to ballast water management based on risk assessments (A-4). The geographical coverage of such measures is, in certain cases, supra-regional such as the three set of voluntary guidelines on ballast water exchange agreed together with the OSPAR Commission and the Barcelona Convention, and the”Joint HELCOM/OSPAR on the granting of exemptions under the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, Regulation A-4″ he Guide has been drafted by the HELCOM project , coordinated by the HELCOM Secretariat, with input from the experts from HELCOM member states.  * * *Note for editors:Shipping has steadily increased in the Baltic Sea during the last decade, reflecting intensifying co-operation and economic prosperity around the region. On the average, 2,000 ships are at sea every day and by 2017, maritime transport of goods in the region has been estimated to double. At the same time, increasing maritime transportation threatens fragile ecosystems and the livelihoods of the many people who depend on the sea he Maritime Group of HELCOM (), identifies and promotes actions to limit sea-based pollution and ways for safer navigation. It also works to ensure enforcement and harmonized implementation of IMOs international shipping regulations in accordance to the 1992 Helsinki Convention. * * *The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, usually referred to as , is an intergovernmental organisation of the nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the European Union working to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution and to ensure safety of navigation in the region. Since 1974, HELCOM has been the governing body of the ‘Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area’, more commonly known as the Helsinki Convention. * * * For more information, please contact:Marta RuizProject Researcher (ALIENS 3)HELCOMTel.: +358 40 647 2424Skype: helcom59E-mail: Hermanni BackerProfessional Secretary for Maritime, Response and Maritime Spatial PlanningHELCOMTel:  +358 46 8509199Skype: helcom02E-mail:

HELCOM has released today a Guide to Alien Species and Ballast Water Management in the Baltic Sea, to inform stakeholders, i.a. mariners entering in the area.