Shipping contributes to the uncontrolled introduction of invasive species to the Baltic Sea, which has severe environmental and economic consequences. Such concrete challenges as loss of native species, habitat change, reduced landings of coastal fisheries, damage to aquaculture, threatened biodiversity and natural ecosystems of the Baltic Sea are to mention a few. Invasive species introduction and spreading of alien species can be reduced by introducing harmonized solutions shared on a regional level.
Monitoring of new introductions and assessment of the main introduction vectors are needed to optimise management and to be able to meet the targets of the Baltic Sea Action Plan (no new introductions of invasive species) and the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (non-indigenous species introduced by human activities at levels that do not adversely alter the ecosystems).
For the harmonised implementation of the International Maritime Organization Ballast Water Management Convention better tools and guidance would be needed. On this background, the project came with the proposal for a regional biofouling management roadmap for the Baltic Sea region and a monitoring programme of non-indigenous species (NIS) for the Baltic Sea.
0.00MillionEni + Russia
The COMPLETE project developed practical tools and proposals for preventing the introduction of alien species to the Baltic Sea.
For preventing the spread of harmful invasive species and potentially pathogens, the project developed the tools for harmonised implementation of the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention. By updating the AquaNIS information system, which is a multipurpose data provider on non-indigenous species, the project equipped the public authorities and shipping companies with useful tools in assessment, selection of Target Species and storage of port baseline data. New approaches to the storage of metadata on molecular markers of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens as well as selection of likely biofouling organisms ensured a more aligned, holistic and reliable way of addressing the challenges.
Biofouling Management mapped
Based on best practices on biofouling management, the project additionally elaborated a proposal for Regional Baltic Biofouling Management Roadmap which serves as a recommendation for policy makers to implement sustainable biofouling management strategies in shipping and boating. By integrating the contents of the Roadmap into official HELCOM documentation in the project extension phase, the project paved the way for positioning the Roadmap strategically and created value added for the implementation of the coming HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan. The upgraded Risk Assessment tool under the HELCOM-OSPAR Joint Harmonised Procedure equipped authorities and shipping companies with needed knowledge. Evaluation of non-indigenous species appearance risks between two ports in the OSPAR and HELCOM areas has become feasible.
Non-indigenous species better monitored
Thanks to the project, non-indigenous species (NIS) in the Baltic Sea can be monitored in a coordinated and consolidated way by the HELCOM countries. The upgraded monitoring programme will facilitate reaching the targets of the Baltic Sea Actions Plan (no introductions of alien species from ships) and the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (non-indigenous species introduced by human activities are at levels that do not adversely alter the ecosystems).
Thanks to EUR 3.12 million of support from the European Union, the Interreg project COMPLETE ensured the reduction of the uncontrolled introduction of invasive species and introduced a unified approach to monitoring and operational risk assessment to streamline the national actions across the Baltic Sea region.
Proposal for a Regional Baltic Biofouling Management Roadmap
The Risk Assessment tool under the HELCOM-OSPAR Joint Harmonised Procedure
Monitoring programme of non-indigenous species (NIS)
14.04.2021At any moment in the Baltic marine area, about 2,000 ships are transporting people, goods, but also stowaways: marine organisms from distant places, like Harris mud crabs, that colonise the Baltic Sea waters. The Interreg project COMPLETE brought together people with smart ideas how to translate the existing regulations into a working system to prevent alien species from invading the Baltic Sea.Read full story
Kotka Maritime Research Assocation (KMRA)
- RepresentativeMiina Karjalainen
Klaipėda University (KU)
- RegionKlaipėdos apskritis
- RepresentativeSergej Olenin
Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission – Helsinki Commission (HELCOM)
- RepresentativeMarta Ruiz
Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)
- RepresentativeMaiju Lehtiniemi
University of Gdansk (UG)
- RepresentativeMonika Normant-Saremba
University of Helsinki (UH)
Chalmers University of Technology (CHALMERS)
- RegionVästra Götalands län
- RepresentativeLena Granhag
Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH)
- RepresentativeKatja Broeg
South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (XAMK)
- RepresentativeJustiina Halonen
University of Tartu (UTARTU)
- RepresentativeHenn Ojaveer
Keep the Archipelago Tidy Association (KAT)
- RepresentativeAnna von Zweygbergk
Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology (LIAE)