Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission


Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

First data call launched for PROTECT BALTIC

HELCOM is seeking information on various aspects, including benthic species, bird presence and absence, bottom organic matter content, chlorophyll-a concentration, coloured dissolved organic matter, fish and decapod crustacean species, hypoxia, sediment maps, sedimentation accumulation rates, fish spawning and nursery areas, and turbidity.

HELCOM has officially launched its first data call for PROTECT BALTIC, inviting stakeholders to share crucial biotic, abiotic, and supporting data on the Baltic region. This initiative aims to boost protection efforts and improve strategic planning.

HELCOM is seeking information on a large number of parameters which make up the Baltic Sea ecosystem, including benthic species, birds, bottom organic matter content, chlorophyll-a concentration, dissolved organic matter, fish and decapod crustacean species, hypoxia, sediment maps, sedimentation accumulation rates, fish spawning and nursery areas, and turbidity.

The collected data will be used to update models for both abiotic and biotic parameters, such as species and habitat distribution, as well as mapping ecosystem functions and services.

The deadline for submitting all relevant and up-to-date data, complete with metadata, is 31 March 2024.

All national data collected will be amalgamated into a Baltic-wide dataset, aligning with HELCOM’s commitment to open accessibility in line with its data and information strategy.

The underlying unrestricted data will be made publicly available through the HELCOM Map and Data service and/or HELCOM Biodiversity database, ensuring transparency and facilitating the replicability of assessments.


Kimmo Koivumäki
GIS Data Specialist for PROTECT BALTIC

+358 44 7071 801

HELCOM to co-host a workshop on submerged munitions in the Baltic Sea at this year’s EUSBSR Annual Forum

The 14th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) will take place in Riga on 4-5 October 2023. The theme of this year’s forum is Safe and Sustainable Baltic Sea Region for Future Generations, with special focus on climate affairs, green energy and future generations.

As part of the forum’s programme, HELCOM will co-host a workshop with Pomorskie Region and the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) on Submerged munitions in the Baltic Sea – environmental, security and other challenges on 4 October at 15:00-16:30 EEST. HELCOM’s Executive Secretary Rüdiger Strempel will be one of the speakers in the workshop.

Additionally, HELCOM will showcase its work related to maritime spatial planning (MSP) and hazardous substances at the expo area of the Networking Village on 5 October, which will take place at the Small Guild.

For more information about the forum and HELCOM’s presence there, please visit the event page.

New project sets sail to fulfill MSP planners’ dreams

Earlier this year, HELCOM joined a new initiative aimed at easing the lives of Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) planners, while supporting sustainable use of human and natural capital in the Baltic Sea Region. The EU-funded Baltic Sea2Land project focuses on addressing the complexity of land-sea interactions and the overlapping jurisdictions of various public authorities, necessitating multi-level governance.

Manuel Frias, who coordinates the project at HELCOM, explains the project’s goal with a metaphor: “Public authorities, together with Sustainable Blue Economy sectors such as fishery and tourism, can be likened to a sailing boat, where the many stakeholders act as the ship’s crew. They must collaborate effectively to avoid collisions and navigate towards their intended destination. To ensure smooth sailing through these stormy land-sea interaction waters, a guiding system, a navigator, is required.”

The key output of the project is the Sea2Land Navigator, a tailored platform providing guidance and decision-making support for public authorities and Sustainable Blue Economy stakeholders, particularly MSP planners at various levels and competences.

“Land-sea interactions in Maritime Spatial Planning are difficult to grasp. We are designing a decision-making tool that will make the life of an MSP planner easier”, Frias says.

Led by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia, the project has 13 partners and six associated organisations from six countries in the Baltic Sea Region, including ministries, regional planning authorities, representatives of cities, and NGOs, and international actors.  HELCOM takes the lead in two activities, which focus on coordinating the design and development of the Sea2Land Navigator.

Funded by Interreg Baltic Sea Region, the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2025. HELCOM’s share of the 3.45 million € budget is 267.500€.

Find out more about the project here

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