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  • Essential fish habitat (EFH) map on Potential spawning areas for sprat was prepared in PanBalticScope project (co-founded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund of the European Union) Sprat (Sprattus sprattus) occurs in the entire Baltic Sea, and mainly in open sea areas. It is assessed as a single stock in the Baltic Sea within fisheries management. Sprat eggs are pelagic, and sprat spawning is well known from the deep basins in the central Baltic, where it typically occurs from February to August. Further north, spawning starts later in the year, and is less certain. Recent fisheries surveys indicate that sprat spawning does no longer occur in the Gulf of Finland. Sprat spawning areas were delineated using environmental variables due to lack of coherent field data across the Baltic Sea countries. “Potential sprat spawning areas” were delineated as areas with salinity > 6 and water depth > 30 m, but for the Arcona basin depth > 20 m was used (Grauman, 1980, Bauman et al. 2006, Voss et al. 2012). “High probability spawning areas” were delineated for areas deeper than 70 m. Stock: Sprat in subdivisions 22-32 (ICES) EFH type: Potential spawning areas Approach: Environmental envelope, corrected for areas 20-40 m south of Bornholm. Variables and thresholds: Potential spawning area: Depth > 30 m, Salinity > 6 (annual average) High probability spawning area: Depth >70 m, Salinity > 6 (annual average) Quality: The map is based on literature and environmental variables, not actual data on sprat spawning. The map might overestimate the spawning area west and north of Gotland. The data layers on environmental variables are based on modelling. Attribute information: Raster value representing no spawning (0), potential spawning area (0.5) and high probability spawning area (1). References: - Baumann, H, H Hinrichsen, C Mollmann, F Koster, A Malzahn, and A Temming (2006) Recruitment variability in Baltic Sea sprat (Sprattus sprattus) in tightly coupled to temperature and transport patterns affecting the larval and early juvenile stages. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science 63:2191-2201 - Grauman GB (1980) Long term changes in the abundance data of eggs and larvae of sprat in the Baltic Sea. Fisheries research in the Baltic Sea, Riga. 15:138-150 (in Russian) - HELCOM (2018) Outcome of the regional expert workshop on essential fish habitats, organized by Pan Baltic Scope project and HELCOM (HELCOM Pan Baltic Scope EFH WS 1-2018) - Voss R, MA Peck, HH Hinrichsen, C Clemmesen, H Baumann, D Stepputis, M Bernreuther, JO Schmidt, A Temming, and FW Köster (2012) Recruitment processes in Baltic sprat - A re-evaluation of GLOBEC Germany hypotheses. Progress in Oceanography 107:61-79

  • This dataset represents the density of all IMO registered ships operating in the Baltic Sea. Shipping density is defined as the number of ships crossing a 1 x 1km grid cell. Density maps are annual and created for the time period 2006-2020 per all ship types and by IMO ship category. HELCOM Map and Data service contains maps of 2020 and 2019 shipping density per ship type and total annual shipping density from 2006-2020. Downloadable resource zip file contains all maps from 2006-2020 including both ship type specific densities and total densities. Raw AIS data used for creating the density maps is based on HELCOM AIS (Automatic Identification System) data. The HELCOM AIS network hosts all the AIS signals received by the Baltic Sea States since 2005. The AIS Explorer allows to compare density maps of different ship types per month: The data was processed to produce density maps and traffic statistics. All scripts are available in GitHub: The production of these maps have been carried out by HELCOM Secretariat for repeated times and supported by several project. During 2016-2017, the work was supported through the HELCOM project on the assessment of maritime activities in the Baltic Sea. The underlying AIS data processing work has been co-financed by EU projects Baltic Scope (2015-2017 EASME/EMFF/2014/ and Baltic Lines (2016-2019, Interreg Baltic Sea Region). In addition, the Ministry of the Environment of Finland supported the work with a special contribution in view of the use of the results in the HOLAS II process.