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The state of the Gulf of Finland- gaps in our present knowledge Marine Science for the Society Tuesday 21 January, Helsinki City Hall, 10.00–12.30.

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Presentation on theme: "The state of the Gulf of Finland- gaps in our present knowledge Marine Science for the Society Tuesday 21 January, Helsinki City Hall, 10.00–12.30."— Presentation transcript:

1 The state of the Gulf of Finland- gaps in our present knowledge Marine Science for the Society Tuesday 21 January, Helsinki City Hall, 10.00–12.30

2 Healthy Baltic Sea

3 Content State of the Baltic Sea as assessed by HELCOM Our obligations to protect the GOF What do we know about the environmental status of the marine environment and the pressures to affect it? Dream of the healthy Baltic Sea in practice What is good status? What is needed to assess the status? What did we report for the EU MSFD? Gaps in information and knowledge based on the results of the EU-funded GES-REG Project Level of coordination Possibilities during the GOF Year

4 State of the Gulf of Finland “Status of the Gulf on Finland”244, s “State of the Gulf of Finland”156, s “Environment of the Gulf of Finland”98, s

5 Obligations Helsinki Convention protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution through intergovernmental cooperation – HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan Political commitment by all Contracting Parties EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive Legally binding for all EU Member State Maritime Doctrine of Russian Federation 2020 Legal document in Russia Development and conservation of ocean resources Integrated marine scientific research Development of systems for monitoring the marine environment and coastal areas

6 What do we know? HELCOM Assessments

7 State of the Baltic Sea EutrophicationHazardous substances Biodiversity Ecosystem Health Eutrophication HEAT CHASE BEAT

8 Defining good status Assessing actual status Monitoring environment and pressures Executing measures Dream of the healthy Baltic Sea in practice

9 What is “good status” A healthy Baltic Sea environment, with diverse biological components functioning in balance, resulting in a good ecological status and supporting a wide range of sustainable human economic and sustainable activities. EUTROPHICATION Concentrations of nutrients close to natural levels Clear water Natural level of algal blooms Natural distribution and occurrence of plants and animals Natural oxygen levels EUTROPHICATION Concentrations of nutrients close to natural levels Clear water Natural level of algal blooms Natural distribution and occurrence of plants and animals Natural oxygen levels HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES Concentrations of hazardous substances close to natural levels All fish are safe to eat Healthy wildlife Radioactivity at the pre-Chernobyl level HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES Concentrations of hazardous substances close to natural levels All fish are safe to eat Healthy wildlife Radioactivity at the pre-Chernobyl level BIODIVERSITY Natural marine and coastal landscapes Thriving and balanced communities of plants and animals Viable populations of species BIODIVERSITY Natural marine and coastal landscapes Thriving and balanced communities of plants and animals Viable populations of species MARITIME ACTIVITIES Enforcement of international regulations – no illegal discharges Safe maritime traffic without accidental pollution Efficient emergency and response capabilities Minimum sewage pollution from ships No introductions of alien species from ships Minimum air pollution from ships Zero discharges from offshore platforms Minimum threats from offshore installations MARITIME ACTIVITIES Enforcement of international regulations – no illegal discharges Safe maritime traffic without accidental pollution Efficient emergency and response capabilities Minimum sewage pollution from ships No introductions of alien species from ships Minimum air pollution from ships Zero discharges from offshore platforms Minimum threats from offshore installations Good Environmental Status of marine waters provide ecologically diverse and dynamic oceans and seas which are clean, healthy and productive within their intrinsic conditions, and the use of the marine environment is at a level that is sustainable, thus safeguarding the potential for uses and activities by current and future generations Good Environmental Status of marine waters provide ecologically diverse and dynamic oceans and seas which are clean, healthy and productive within their intrinsic conditions, and the use of the marine environment is at a level that is sustainable, thus safeguarding the potential for uses and activities by current and future generations Biological diversity is maintained Non-indigenous species do not adversely alter the ecosystems Populations of all commercially exploited fish and shellfish are within safe biological limits All elements of the marine food webs occur at normal abundance and diversity Human-induced eutrophication is minimised Sea-floor integrity not adversely affected Permanent alteration of hydrographical conditions does not adversely affect marine ecosystems Concentrations of contaminants are at levels not giving rise to pollution effects Contaminants in fish and other seafood for human consumption do not exceed legislative levels Marine litter do not cause harm Underwater noise does not adversely affect the marine environment HELCOM BSAP and MSFD

10 What is needed? Co-ordination: – Criteria for GES – Indicators – Boundary values – Assessment tools – Methods – Monitoring – Data

11 What did we report? Biodiversity Aliens Fish Food webs Eutrophication Benthic integrity Hydrography Litter Contaminants Contaminants in fish Noise

12 Gaps

13 State of regional coherence – self-assessment by HELCOM Contracting Parties concerning implementation of Articles 8, 9 and 10 of the MSFD

14 Gaps in information and knowledge Major knowledge gaps concerning – hydromorphology, underwater noise and marine litter – impacts of alien species – underwater habitat distribution and status – indicators for the food web status Knowledge on the hazardous substances is spatially patchy and especially their biological impacts are poorly understood Set of indicators to assess GES is sparse and varies Geographic assessment scales are varying Assessment tools are neither fully developed nor agreed upon and still require more coherence with EU policies

15 Level of coordination No real coordination for the 2012 reporting on the MSFD implementation HELCOM was not used efficiently General information exchange on Initial Assessments, determination of GES and GES/sub-GES boundaries, setting of environmental targets and establishing indicators for assessment took place GES-REG Project provisions were not used fully – Practically no general coordination took place in the actual preparation of the Initial Assessments – GES determination was not coordinated – HELCOM CORESET was not used efficiently for indicators and boundary settings – Joint HELCOM Assessment and Monitoring Strategy was a success

16 Possibilities during the GOF Year Increased sub-regional cooperation between Estonia, Finland and Russia – planning of joint monitoring manual and programme – implementing operational monitoring Co-ordinated, well planned execution of monitoring (GES and pressures) making “new methods” operational Sharing/pooling data without unnecessary delay joint preparation of assessment on environmental status and pressures – coordinated programme of measures

17 Use HELCOM! Align national approaches to regional agreements accordingly and vice versa – Coordinated and timely planning of activities Influence and support the HELCOM’s role in the regional cooperation process and achieve profits Share research and development work on new GOF Year topics in order to – Support Baltic-wide planning and execution of operational monitoring – provide regional baseline information for assessment of the need and extent of future activities Influence the joint documentation of approaches and results to support HELCOM Contracting Parties in their national and international reporting obligations

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