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Availability of sea use and pressure data in Estonia, Latvia, Finland and Sweden


One of the main aims of the MARMONI project was to develop a new set of marine biodiversity indicators and elaborate new monitoring concept for assessment of the status of marine biodiversity. This could only be properly done knowing the current situation of existing databases, both on biodiversity and on its pressures, e.g. sea uses that cause those pressures. This practice focussed on providing more insights on these databases.

Application in MSP:
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Questions this practice may help answer

  • What data is available on the use of resources in Estonia, Latvia, Finland and Sweden?
  • What data is available on the use of the marine environment in Estonia, Latvia, Finland and Sweden?
  • What data is available on marine pollution in Estonia, Latvia, Finland and Sweden?
  • What improvements can be made for the sea use and pressure related data sets and their administration?

Implementation Context

The MARMONI project aims at developing concepts for assessment of the conservation status of marine biodiversity, including species and habitats, and impacts of various human activities. The project is acting in the Baltic Sea in the territorial waters and EEZ of Estonia, Latvia, Finland and Sweden, being focused on the project study areas – Gulf of Riga, Hanö Bight, Coastal area of SW Finland and Gulf of Finland. Therefore the aim was to define the relevant sea uses and impacts and evaluate their relevance and importance for the project study areas.

Aspects / Objectives

The aim of the action was to compile information on the existing data on sea use activities in the project’s study areas (i.e. potential pressures on the marine environment and biodiversity) as well as to analyse the availability and potential gaps of the data. The action was implemented from the 1st of October 2010 to 30

th of June 2011 and consisted of the following activities:

  • Meetings between all project partners to harmonise the data collection approach;
  • Meetings and/or interviews with competent authorities in each partner country to get an overview about existing data sets and their availability;
  • Analysis and conclusions on a basis of two activity es above.


1.   Collect and review data on the use of resources

 a.   Fishing and other harvesting

 b.   Aquaculture

 c.   Hunting

 d.   Extraction of mineral

2.   Collect and review data on the use of the marine environment

 a.   Shipping

 b.   Harbours, ports and terminals

 c.   Technical installations and constructions

 d.   Disposal sites

 e.   Military activities

 f.     Recreation areas

3.   Collect and review data on pollution

 a.   Coastal point pollution

 b.   Non-point pollution (agriculture)

4.   Collect and review data on protection of the marine environment

5.   Collect and review database existence on environmental protection in all the target countries (Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Latvia)

6.   Conduct and overall evaluation of the data sets

7.   Hold expert interviews to get more insights on the data sources and their applicability.

8.   Develop suggestions for improving the data sets and their administration

Main Outputs / Results

The report provides an overview of specific data sources of resources, use of the marine environment, pollution, environmental protection and country specific databases on marine environmental.

The following conclusions have been made:

  • Almost one database per sea use per country for that aim is quite reasonable result.
  • Analysis of collected data did also show good presence of such important data as data on shipping and fishery, but further analysis is needed on variables basis for those and also other sea use based databases.
  • Improvement should be done in pollution and recreation data collection as well as disposal sites data.
  • In some countries, like Estonia improvement is also needed on aquaculture and hunting data.
  • More than half of the expert respondents are involved in monitoring activities and more than one third are ready to cooperate on monitoring of biodiversity.
  • There is a good basis for going on into further, more deep analysis of data in order to design commonly well understandable and easily detectable biodiversity indicators that can be monitored in cooperation with different sea users with purpose to reach as much as possible sustainable management of Baltic marine environment.


The method for analysing data sets can be used in other sea areas too. The results however are location specific and it is not possible to apply the results in another context.

Costs / Funding Source

LIFE+ Nature & Biodiversity project “Innovative approaches for marine biodiversity monitoring and assessment of conservation status of nature values in the Baltic Sea” (MARMONI)

Responsible Entity

Baltic Environmental Forum – Latvia

Antonijas street 3-8, Rīga, LV -1010, Latvia