Completing management options in the Baltic Sea Region to reduce risk of invasive species introduction by shipping
COMPLETE
 
PROGRAMME 2014-2020
priority
3 Transport
objective
3.4 Clean shipping

COMPLETE

The Interreg project COMPLETE contributed to the reduction of the uncontrolled introduction of invasive species in the region by introducing a unified approach to monitoring and operational risk assessment on a national level.
The challenge

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.

Budgets

COMPLETE
in numbers
  • 3.23
    Million
    Total
  • 2.52
    Million
    Erdf
  • 0.00
    Million
    Eni + Russia
  • 0.00
    Million
    Norway

Achievements

The COMPLETE project developed practical tools and proposals for preventing the introduction of alien species to the Baltic Sea.

Streamlined actions

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.

Outputs

Proposal for a Regional Baltic Biofouling Management Roadmap

Proposal for a Regional Baltic Biofouling Management Roadmap serves as a recommendation for policy makers to implement harmonised biofouling management strategies for the entire Baltic Sea region. The document combines the findings in the COMPLETE project outputs and deliverables related to biofouling management in the Baltic Sea region. It delivers concrete recommendations for a sustainable biofouling management in the region for the shipping and boating sector. As a part of the proposal for a Regional Baltic Biofouling Management Roadmap, the Guide on best practices on biofouling management provides information and guidance for effective biofouling management strategies suitable for the Baltic Sea region.

The Risk Assessment tool under the HELCOM-OSPAR Joint Harmonised Procedure

The upgraded Risk Assessment tool under the HELCOM-OSPAR Joint Harmonised Procedure allows authorities as well as shipping companies to quickly evaluate the risk of non-indigenous species introduction between two ports in the OSPAR and HELCOM areas when applying and granting exemptions for ballast water management under certain low-risk conditions of the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention. In addition, the Risk Assessment tool hosts an extensive database of species observations and environmental data publicly accessible for research institutions.

Monitoring programme of non-indigenous species (NIS)

The monitoring programme of NIS proposed by the COMPLETE project is an important tool for all HELCOM countries in conducting monitoring in the Baltic Sea. This makes NIS monitoring of utmost importance as its description has been updated to fulfil the requirements of present legislation. 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) and the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (non-indigenous species introduced by human activities are at levels that do not adversely alter the ecosystems). Monitoring programme on NIS will be part of the official monitoring programme of HELCOM and used by all Contracting Parties as part of their national monitoring programmes.

Project Stories

Partners

Kotka Maritime Research Assocation (KMRA)

  • Town
    Kotka
  • Region
    Kymenlaakso
  • Country
    Finland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
468,107.70
60.467422826.9450844

Klaipėda University (KU)

  • Town
    Klaipeda
  • Region
    Klaipėdos apskritis
  • Country
    Lithuania
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
280,000.00
54.292469222.8131913

Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission – Helsinki Commission (HELCOM)

  • Town
    Helsinki
  • Region
    Helsinki-Uusimaa
  • Country
    Finland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
272,591.60
60.167488124.9427473

Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)

  • Town
    Helsinki
  • Region
    Helsinki-Uusimaa
  • Country
    Finland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
346,129.20
60.167488124.9427473

University of Gdansk (UG)

  • Town
    Gdańsk
  • Region
    Trójmiejski
  • Country
    Poland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
198,341.00
54.3611928518.62860883362069

University of Helsinki (UH)

  • Town
    Helsingin yliopisto
  • Region
    Helsinki-Uusimaa
  • Country
    Finland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
259,001.85
60.17103930000000424.949155335163038

Chalmers University of Technology (CHALMERS)

  • Town
    Gothenburg
  • Region
    Västra Götalands län
  • Country
    Sweden
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
129,458.65
57.707232611.9670171

Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH)

  • Town
    Hamburg
  • Region
    Hamburg
  • Country
    Germany
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
395,000.00
53.55034110.000654

South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (XAMK)

  • Town
    Mikkeli
  • Region
    Kymenlaakso
  • Country
    Finland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
192,492.75
61.687795627.2726569

University of Tartu (UTARTU)

  • Town
    Tartu
  • Region
    Lõuna-Eesti
  • Country
    Estonia
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
200,000.00
58.39564534999999526.630885501668523

Keep the Archipelago Tidy Association (KAT)

  • Town
    Turku
  • Region
    Varsinais-Suomi
  • Country
    Finland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
247,214.20
60.451753122.2670522

Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology (LIAE)

  • Town
    Riga
  • Region
    Rīga
  • Country
    Latvia
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
242,950.00
56.949397724.1051846

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