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  • Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas (EBSA) are special areas in world's oceans that serve important purposes, in one way or another, to support the healthy functioning of oceans and the many services that they provide. Following the voluntary commitment from HELCOM Contracting Parties at the United Nations Oceans Conference in June 2017, HELCOM started the process of identifying EBSAs in the Baltic Sea. The February 2018 EBSA workshop resulted in a proposal for areas for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to consider during the later half of 2018. Nine Baltic marine areas were described by the workshop participants as ecologically or biologically significant, including five transboundary areas covering waters of two or more countries. The described EBSAs extend into 14 of the 17 Baltic Sea sub-basins. Altogether, they cover 23% of the Baltic Sea, slightly higher than the 19% the average in other areas of the world. The described EBSAs are: - Northern Bothnian Bay - Kvarken Archipelago - Åland Sea, Åland Islands and the Archipelago Sea of Finland - Eastern Gulf of Finland - Inner Sea of West Estonian Archipelago - Southeastern Baltic Sea Shallows - Southern Gotland Harbour Porpoise Area - Fehmarn Belt - Fladen and Stora and Lilla Middelgrund. This dataset contains borders of these 9 areas and related attribute information.

  • The data set is showing protected areas (Ramsar, UNESCO Biosphere Reserves and Natura2000) in the Baltic Sea area as polygons. This dataset is used for the BRISK project (Sub-regional risk of spill of oil and hazardous substances in the Baltic Sea, The dataset has been produced by COWI ( based on data collected from HELCOM and Baltic Sea countries (Finland: Copyright SYKE). The dataset includes data provided by the BRISK Project Partner organisations. The detailed documentation of what partner provided what data is given in the Annex of the document: 70618- Data Collection Report.

  • HELCOM Marine Protected Areas database (HELCOM MPA database) contains following information: The HELCOM MPA database contains information related to each MPA described in MPA fact sheets, which contains general information on the MPA, management plans, species, biotopes, biotope complexes as well as pressures and human activities related to the MPA. The HELCOM MPA database can be access from Spatial data on areas of MPAs, described in a separate shapefile: The designation of HELCOM MPAs is based on the HELCOM Recommendation 15/5 (1994). The data contained in HELCOM MPA database is reported by HELCOM Contracting Parties and has been collected since 2007 to HELCOM BSPA (Baltic Sea Protected Areas) database. The database was updated to Oracle database solution in ECONET project during 2015 and gradually updated as new information becomes available. The content of HELCOM MPA database is verified annually in HELCOM State & Conservation meetings.

  • The PLAN BOTHNIA project, co-ordinated by the HELCOM Secretariat, tested transboundary Maritime Spatial Planning in the Baltic Sea. The project used the Bothnian Sea area between Sweden and Finland as a case study of Baltic transboundary MSP. The project was a Baltic Sea MSP “preparatory action” funded by EU Commission DG MARE (budget 0,5 M EUR ) under the EU Integrated Maritime Policy, and run 18 months between 2. December 2010 and 1. June 2012. The final report can be downloaded here: The data covers the following topics: Maritime traffic Fishing and aquaculture Energy Nature protected areas Defence Scientific research Sand and gravel Tourism and recreation Cultural heritage All spatial data gathered during the project can be downloaded and used freely given that the source is cited. The data was gathered during the time span of the project (December 2010 and 1. June 2012) and it covers: Maritime traffic Fishing and aquaculture Energy Nature protected areas Defence Scientific research Sand and gravel Tourism and recreation Cultural heritage The source of the data were HELCOM and the different regional councils surrounding the Bothnian Sea.