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  • Essential fish habitat (EFH) map on Potential recruitment areas for pikeperch was prepared in PanBalticScope project (co-founded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund of the European Union) http://www.panbalticscope.eu/ Pikeperch (Sander lucioperca) is a species of freshwater origin, which spawns predominantly in freshwater tributaries and has a relatively limited dispersal away from its recruitment area. Species distribution modelling studies have shown the importance of suitable environmental conditions for pikeperch recruitment. Due to lack of coherent data on pikeperch spawning and nursery areas across the Baltic Sea countries, the distribution of pikeperch recruitment areas was delineated based on areas with suitable conditions of depth, wave exposure, salinity, water transparency (Secchi depth) and distance to deeper (10 m) waters. The threshold values were obtained from literature. Temperature, although important for pikeperch, was left out due to high variation in timing of suitable spawning temperatures across the Baltic Sea. The map on pikeperch recruitment areas was originally developed within the HOLAS II project (HELCOM 2018) when it was approved by all HELCOM Contracting Parties in a dedicated review process after correction to Swedish waters. The map was subsequently considered by the Pan Baltic Scope project, who proposed adjustments to Estonian, German, Lithuanian and Polish waters. Stock: Several, undefined EFH type: Recruitment areas Approach: Environmental window with national approach for Finnish waters, selected data points corrected for Estonian, German, Lithuanian, Polish, and Swedish waters. Variables and thresholds: Depth < 5 m, Logged exposure < 5, Salinity < 7, Secchi depth < 2, Distance to deep (10m) water < 4km. Based on the model for the Finnish coastline, pikeperch recruitment areas were defined as: Unsuitable for reproduction: P(catch larvae) < 0.5, Suitable for reproduction: P(catch larvae) > 0.5, Important for reproduction: the smallest area where the expected cumulative larval abundance is 80% of the total expected abundance over study area. Quality: Recruitment area here refers to essential habitats for young-of-the-year pikeperch (based on inventory data from spawning until the end of the first summer). The map is based on literature and environmental variables, derived from inventory data. The species distribution modelling studies, where the thresholds values for environmental variables have been obtained, are from the northern Baltic Sea. Also, the data layers on environmental variables are based on modelling. Here, same thresholds have been applied in the southern Baltic. Due to these constraints, the data layer should be considered as a rough estimation. In addition, temperature is important for pikeperch recruitment but was not included as a delineating variable due to high variation in timing. The data layer may underestimate pikeperch in Finnish waters with respect to habitats for young-of-the-year pikeperch, as it focused on newly-hatched larvae when the dispersal is more limited compared to later in the season. Attribute information: Raster value representing the potential occurrence of pikeperch reproduction area (either 0 or 1). References: - Alikas, K, and Kratzer, S (2017) Improved retrieval of Secchi depth for optically-complex waters using remote sensing data. Ecological Indicators 77: 218-227 - Bergström, U, G Sundblad, A-L Downie, M Snickars, C Boström, and M Lindegarth (2013) Evaluating eutrophication management scenarios in the Baltic Sea using species distribution modelling. Journal of Applied Ecology 50:680-690 - HELCOM (2018) State of the Baltic Sea - Second HELCOM holistic assessment 2011-2016. Baltic Sea Environment Proceedings 155 - HELCOM (2020) Essential fish habitats in the Baltic Sea – identification of potential spawning, recruitment and nursery areas - Gunnartz, U, M Lif, P Lindberg, L Ljunggren, A Sandström, and G Sundblad (2011) Kartläggning av lekområden för kommersiella fiskarter längs den svenska ostkusten - en intervjustudie (In Swedish with summary in English). Finfo 2011:3:1-42 https://www.havochvatten.se/download/18.64f5b3211343cffddb2800018015/1348912838028/finfo2011_3.pdf - Isæus, M (2004) Factors structuring Fucus communities at open and complex coastlines in the Baltic Sea. PhD thesis, Stockholm University - Kallasvuo, M, J Vanhatalo, and L Veneranta (2017) Modeling the spatial distribution of larval fish abundance provides essential information for management. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 74:636-649 - Seifert, T, F Tauber, and B Kayser (2001) A high resolution spherical grid topography of the Baltic Sea -2nd edition. Baltic sea Science Congress, Stockholm 25-29 November 2001, Poster #147 - Sundblad, G, Bergström, U, Sandström, A, and P Eklöv (2013) Nursery habitat availability limits adult stock sizes of predatory coastal fish. ICES Journal of Marine Science 71:672-680 - Veneranta, L, L Urho, A Lappalainen, and M Kallasvuo (2011) Turbidity characterizes reproduction areas of pikeperch (Sander lucioperca (L.)) in the northern Baltic Sea. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 95:199-206

  • 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) http://www.panbalticscope.eu/ 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

  • Essential fish habitat (EFH) map on Potential recruitment areas for perch was prepared in PanBalticScope project (co-founded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund of the European Union) http://www.panbalticscope.eu/ Perch (Perca fluviatilis) is a key species in many Baltic coastal areas. It is of freshwater origin and spawns predominantly in freshwater tributaries, close to the coastline, or in enclosed bays. Species distribution modelling have shown the importance of suitable environmental conditions for perch reproduction. Young perch has limited dispersal from its spawning area, and tagging studies have shown that most (50-95 % of the recaptures of perch are made up to 20 km from tagging site (Johnsson 1978, Böhling and Lehtonen 1985, Veneranta et al. 2011, Saks et al. 2020). Due to lack of coherent data on perch spawning and nursery areas across the Baltic Sea countries, environmental variables were used in delineating potential recruitment areas for perch. The map was originally developed within the HOLAS II project (HELCOM 2018) when it was approved by all HELCOM Contracting Parties in a dedicated review process. Potential perch recruitment areas were delineated as areas with suitable condition of depth, wave exposure and salinity. Thresholds were obtained from literature, and selected to rather overestimate than underestimate the recruitment area. For the Finnish coastline, a national model was used. The map was subsequently considered by the Pan Baltic Scope project, who proposed adjustments to thresholds for some areas in Russian waters, and corrections to Estonian and German waters. Stock: Several, undefined EFH type: Recruitment areas Approach: Environmental window, national modelling approach in Finnish waters, supplemented with corrections to Estonian, German and Russian waters based on national validation with monitoring data. Variables and thresholds: Depth < 4 m (for Danish waters < 3 m), Logged exposure < 5 (For Koporo Bay and Narva Bay in Russian waters < 5.23), Salinity < 10. Based on the model for the Finnish coastline, perch recruitment areas were defined as: Unsuitable for reproduction: P(catch larvae) < 0.5, Suitable for reproduction: P(catch larvae) > 0.5, Important for reproduction: the smallest area where the expected cumulative larval abundance is 80% of the total expected abundance over study area. Quality: Recruitment area here refers to essential habitats for young-of-the-year perch (based on inventory data from spawning until the end of the first summer). The map is based on literature and environmental variables, derived from inventory data. The species distribution modelling studies, where the thresholds values for environmental variables have been obtained, are from the northern Baltic Sea. Here, the same thresholds have been applied in the southern Baltic. Also, the data layers on environmental variables are based on modelling. Due to these constraints, the data layer should be considered as a rough estimation. Attribute information: Raster value representing the potential occurrence of perch recruitment area (either 0 or 1). References - Bergström, U, G Sundblad, A-L Downie, M Snickars, C Boström, and M Lindegarth (2013) Evaluating eutrophication management scenarios in the Baltic Sea using species distribution modelling. Journal of Applied Ecology 50:680-690 - Böhling, P, and H Lehtonen (1985) Effect of environmental factors on migrations of perch (Perca fluviatilis) tagged in the coastal waters of Finland. Finnish Fisheries Research 5: 31-40 - HELCOM (2018) State of the Baltic Sea - Second HELCOM holistic assessment 2011-2016. Baltic Sea Environment Proceedings 155 - HELCOM (2020) Essential fish habitats in the Baltic Sea – identification of potential spawning, recruitment and nursery areas - Isæus, M (2004) Factors structuring Fucus communities at open and complex coastlines in the Baltic Sea. PhD thesis, Stockholm University - Johnsson, T (1978) Dispersal area of perch, Perca fluviatilis, tagged in a stream flowing into the Bothnian Sea. Aquilo, Series Zoologica 18: 62-64 - Kallasvuo, M, J Vanhatalo, and L Veneranta (2017) Modeling the spatial distribution of larval fish abundance provides essential information for management. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 74:636-649 - Saks, L, R Eschbaum, K Jürgens, and I Taal (2020) Ahvena ränded Liivi lahel ja Väinameres. Eesti Mereinstituut, Tartu. https://www.kalateave.ee/images/pdf¬/Uuringud/¬Ahvena_r%¬C3%A4nded_Liivi_lahel_-ja_V%C3%A4inameres.pdf - Seifert, T, F Tauber, and B Kayser (2001) A high resolution spherical grid topography of the Baltic Sea -2nd edition. Baltic sea Science Congress, Stockholm 25-29 November 2001, Poster #147 - Skovrind, M, EAF Christensen, L Jacobs, and PR Moller (2013) Marine spawning sites of Perca fluviatilis revealed by oviduct-inserted acoustic transmitters. Aquatic Biology 19:201-206 - Snickars, M, G Sundblad, A Sandström, L Ljunggren, U Bergström, G Johansson, and J Mattila (2010) Habitat selectivity of substrate spawning fish - modelling requirements of the Eurasian perch, Perca fluviatilis. Marine Ecology Progress Series 398:235-243 - Sundblad, G, Bergström, U, Sandström, A, and P Eklöv (2014) Nursery habitat availability limits adult stock sizes of predatory coastal fish. ICES Journal of Marine Science 71:672-680 - Veneranta, L, L Urho, A Lappalainen, and M Kallasvuo (2011) Turbidity characterizes reproduction areas of pikeperch (Sander lucioperca (L.)) in the northern Baltic Sea. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 95:199-206

  • Essential fish habitat (EFH) map on Potential spawning areas for European flounder was prepared in PanBalticScope project (co-founded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund of the European Union) http://www.panbalticscope.eu/ European flounder (Platichthys flesus) is a key species in many coastal areas of the Baltic Sea, mainly in the central and southern sub-basins. Adults feed in shallow, coastal areas during summer and move out to deeper areas in winter, where the spawning takes place in spring. European flounder spawns above the sea floor in deep water, in areas with sufficiently high salinity for fertilization and pelagic egg development. ‘Potential spawning areas’ were initially delineated by a species distribution model (Orio et al. 2017) developed based on years 1993-1997 to consider a period with relatively better oxygen conditions, but applied with more recent data (2011-2014). The area was further delineated to encompass only areas deeper than 30 m in order to represent pelagic spawning habitat. ‘High probability spawning areas’ were identified as the sub-section encompassing salinity > 10. It should be noted that flounders in the Baltic Sea were recently separated into two species, and that spawning areas of the Baltic flounder (Platichthys solemdali) are described separately. The two data layers do not overlap and can be combined to obtain a map on spawning areas for both flounder species taken together. Stock: ICES identifies two stocks of European flounder in the Baltic Sea: ICES subdivisions 22-23 (Belt Sea and the Sound), and 24-25 (West of Bornholm and Southern Central Baltic Sea). EFH type: Spawning areas Approach: Species distribution modelling combined with identification of environmental salinity window and depth conditions for spawning. Variables and thresholds: Depth > 30 m, Salinity > 10 Quality: The data layer is based on species distribution modelling focusing on mature flounder at the spawning stage and should be considered a rough estimation. The data layers on environmental variables are based on modelling. Other variables than those tested in the model may also be influential. The studies from which the thresholds values for environmental variables have been obtained are based on publications conducted before the separation of Baltic flounder from European flounder but have taken the specific characteristics of the separate spawning ecotypes into account. Note: the map on European flounder spawning areas is currently missing information for the western Baltic Sea including the Kattegat. Attribute information: Raster value representing no spawning (0), potential spawning area (0.5) and high probability spawning area (1). References: - Momigliano, P, GP Denys, H Jokinen, and J Merilä (2018) Platichthys solemdali sp. nov. (Actinopterygii, Pleuronectiformes): a new flounder species from the Baltic Sea. Frontiers in Marine Science 5:225 - Nissling, A, L Westin, and O Hjerne (2002) Reproductive success in relation to salinity for three flatfish species, dab (Limanda limanda), plaice (Pleuronectes platessa), and flounder (Pleuronectes flesus), in the brackish water Baltic Sea. ICES Journal of Marine Science 59:93-108 - Orio, A, U Bergström, M Casini, M Erlandsson, R Eschbaum, K Hüssy, A Lehmann, L Ložys, D Ustups, and A-B Florin (2017a) Characterizing and predicting the distribution of Baltic Sea flounder (Platichthys flesus) during the spawning season. Journal of Sea Research 126:46-55 - Seifert, T, F Tauber, and B Kayser (2001) A high resolution spherical grid topography of the Baltic Sea -2nd edition. Baltic sea Science Congress, Stockholm 25-29 November 2001, Poster #147

  • Essential fish habitat (EFH) map on Potential spawning areas for Baltic flounder was prepared in PanBalticScope project (co-founded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund of the European Union) http://www.panbalticscope.eu/ Baltic flounder (Platichthys solemdali) is a key species in many coastal areas of the Baltic Sea. It is the only endemic fish species of the Baltic Sea. Baltic flounder spawns in shallow coastal areas and on offshore banks, with eggs developing on the sea floor. Successful spawning may be expected at salinities down to around 5-7 (Nissling et al. 2002). ‘‘Potential spawning areas’ were initially delineated by a species distribution model (Orio et al. 2017) developed based on years 1993-1997 to consider a period with relatively better oxygen conditions, but applied with more recent data (2011-2014). The area was further delineated to encompass only areas shallower than 30 m in order to represent the demersal spawning habitat. ‘High probability spawning areas’ were identified as the sub-section encompassing salinity > 6. It should be noted that flounders in the Baltic Sea were recently separated into two species, and that spawning areas of the European flounder (Platichthys flesus) are described separately. The two data layers do not overlap and can be combined to obtain a map on spawning areas for both flounder species taken together. Stocks: ICES identifies two stocks of Baltic flounder: ICES subdivisions 26, 28 (East of Gotland and Gulf of Gdansk), and 27, 29-32 (Northern Central Baltic Sea and Northern Baltic Sea). EFH Type: Spawning areas Approach: Species distribution modelling combined with identification of environmental salinity window and depth conditions for spawning, supplemented with additional information from monitoring in Estonian waters. Variables and thresholds: Depth < 30 m, Salinity > 6 Quality: The data layer is based on species distribution modelling focusing on mature flounder at the spawning stage and should be considered a rough estimation. The data layers on environmental variables are based on modelling. Other variables than those tested in the model may also be influential. The studies from which the thresholds values for environmental variables have been obtained are based on publications conducted before the separation of Baltic flounder from European flounder but have taken the specific characteristics of the separate spawning ecotypes into account. Attribute information: Raster value representing no spawning (0), potential spawning area (0.5) and high probability spawning area (1). References: - Momigliano, P, GP Denys, H Jokinen, and J Merilä (2018) Platichthys solemdali sp. nov. (Actinopterygii, Pleuronectiformes): a new flounder species from the Baltic Sea. Frontiers in Marine Science 5:225 - Nissling, A, L Westin, and O Hjerne (2002) Reproductive success in relation to salinity for three flatfish species, dab (Limanda limanda), plaice (Pleuronectes platessa), and flounder (Pleuronectes flesus), in the brackish water Baltic Sea. ICES Journal of Marine Science 59:93-108 - Orio, A, U Bergström, M Casini, M Erlandsson, R Eschbaum, K Hüssy, A Lehmann, L Ložys, D Ustups, and A-B Florin (2017a) Characterizing and predicting the distribution of Baltic Sea flounder (Platichthys flesus) during the spawning season. Journal of Sea Research 126:46-55 - Seifert, T, F Tauber, and B Kayser (2001) A high resolution spherical grid topography of the Baltic Sea -2nd edition. Baltic sea Science Congress, Stockholm 25-29 November 2001, Poster #147

  • Essential fish habitat (EFH) map on Potential nursery areas for flounders was prepared in PanBalticScope project (co-founded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund of the European Union) http://www.panbalticscope.eu/ The two flounder species in the Baltic Sea (Platichthys flesus and P. solemdali) have different reproductive strategies, spawning in the pelagic and in shallow waters, respectively. However, they utilize the same type nursery habitat. For both species, young of the year are found on shallow bottoms from June to September, primarily on sandy substrates. Flounder nursery areas were predicted by a generalized additive model with flounder abundance as response variable and seven map-based predictor variables. The model was based on data from available surveys of juvenile flounder in the Baltic Sea, compiled within the Pan Baltic Scope project (see HELCOM 2018a). To represent the nursery season and the current situation, only results from surveys performed in June-September during 2004-2018 were used, resulting in totally 2,114 samples. All abundance estimates were harmonized to numbers of juvenile flounder per square meter. Values for the predictor variables were extracted for each sampling point in GIS. The following environmental variables were used: salinity, wave exposure, water depth, slope of the bottom, surface temperature, bottom currents, and distance to high probability spawning area for European flounder. Stock: Baltic flounder: ICES subdivisions 26, 28 (East of Gotland and Gulf of Gdansk), and 27, 29-32 (Northern Central Baltic Sea and Northern Baltic Sea). European flounder: ICES subdivisions 22-23 (Belt Sea and the Sound), and 24-25 (West of Bornholm and Southern Central Baltic Sea).). EFH type: Nursery areas Approach: Species distribution modelling Variables and thresholds: High probability nursery areas represent areas with a predicted abundance > 0.03 juvenile flounder/m² based on the applied data sets and model. Potential nursery areas represent predicted abundance levels between 0,0001 and 0,03 juvenile flounder/m². Areas with a predicted abundance < 0.0001 juvenile flounders/m² are defined as not being flounder nursery areas. Quality: Data on juvenile flounder abundances to support the spatial model is missing from Denmark, Germany, Poland and Russia. Predictions are uncertain in these areas, and especially along the south coast of the Baltic Sea. The mix of data from different years, months and gear types may have contributed to increasing the variability in the dataset, even though a relatively high deviance explained by the model (41%) shows that it has predictive power. The spatial resolution of the predictor variables varies between 200 m and 2 km, which gives coarse predictions locally even though values are representative at an overall regional scale. The prediction is limited by a lack of accurate spatial information on surface sediments. Sandy substrates are well known as important flounder nursery habitats. Unfortunately, the only available sediment map on a Baltic Sea wide scale was too inaccurate for shallow waters where juvenile flounder occurs and was therefore excluded from the model. The map on flounder nursery areas does not make assumptions on species identity in any area. Attribute information: Raster value representing no nursery area (0), potential nursery area (0.5) and high probability nursery area (1). -999 indicates No data. References HELCOM (2018a) 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) HELCOM (2018b) HELCOM Map and Data service. Layers: mean slope and bottom currents. https://maps.helcom.fi/website/mapservice/. Accessed March 2019 HELCOM (2020) Essential fish habitats in the Baltic Sea – identification of potential spawning, recruitment and nursery areas. Lehmann, A, W Krauß, and HH Hinrichsen (2002) Effects of remote and local atmospheric forcing on circulation and upwelling in the Baltic Sea. Tellus A 54:299-316

  • Essential fish habitat (EFH) map on Potential spawning areas for herring was prepared in PanBalticScope project (co-founded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund of the European Union) http://www.panbalticscope.eu/ Herring (Clupea harengus) is widely distributed in the Baltic Sea and is common in all sub-basins. Herring feeds in the pelagic, mainly on zooplankton, and is an important prey for cod, other fish, and marine mammals. In fisheries management, herring in the Baltic Sea is sub-divided into several stocks. Herring spawns in coastal areas or offshore shallows. It has demersal eggs, which are attached to the substrate. Spawning may occur both in spring and autumn, depending on population, but spring spawning dominates today. Spawning areas of herring were identified by main habitat associations, based on existing observations of herring spawning grounds in the Baltic Sea. ‘Potential spawning areas’ were delineated based on the distribution of any of the following: modelled photic zone, photic hard bottom, charophytes, Fucus spp, Furcellaria lumbricalis, and Zostera marina, several data layers were combined due to uncertainty in the coverage of some of them, ‘High probability’ spawning areas were identified as areas where the modelled photic zone overlaps with any of the other layers. The habitat variables were identified by other existing HELCOM data layers. Stock: Herring in ICES subdivisions 22-24 (spring spawning), subdivisions 25-27, 28.2, 29 and 32, subdivision 28.1 (Gulf of Riga), subdivisions 30-31. EFH type: Spawning areas Approach: Habitat associations combined with manual corrections to eastern Gulf of Finland (Neva inlet), Curonian lagoon, Szczechin lagoon, Vistula lagoon and German waters Variables and thresholds: Distribution of Photic zone, Photic hard bottom, Charophytes, Fucus spp., Furcellaria lumbricalis, Zostera marina. The resulting data layer was corrected by removing recruitment areas in eastern Gulf of Finland (Neva inlet), Curonian lagoon, Szczechin lagoon and enhancing that of the Vistula lagoon. Quality: The data layer is mainly developed based on main habitat associations as identified from scientific literature, not actual data on herring spawning. The delineations are based on other data layers (benthic and habitat-related ecosystem components) for which mapping is not exhaustive and sampling density may vary between countries. Underlying data layers on vegetation (Fucus, Furcellaria, charophytes, Zostera) are based on inventory data and species distribution models. Information on the distribution of Furcellaria is lacking from Russia. Herring preferably spawns in shallow areas. However, the layer does not include depth as a variable, as some known spawning areas offshore would not be included if the depth restriction is used. Due to constraints in the resolution of the underlying data layer, the map also identifies areas shallower than one meter as potential spawning areas of Baltic herring. However, spawning of Baltic herring does not usually occur in such shallow depth. The map represents potential spawning areas. In addition, behavioral components and hydrographic factors influence on the actual chose of spawning site at a certain occasion. Due to these constraints, the data layer on Baltic herring spawning habitats should be considered as a rough estimation. Attribute information: Raster value representing no spawning (0), potential spawning area (0.5) and high probability spawning area (1). References - Fey, DP (2001) Differences in temperature conditions and somatic growth rate of larval and early juvenile spring spawned herring from the Vistula Lagoon, Baltic Sea manifested in the otolith size to fish size relationship. Journal of Fish Biology 58: 1257–1273 - Fey, DP, AM Lejk, P Margonski, L Szymanek, I Psuty, T Nermer, F Lempe, HV Strehlow, P Polte, D Moll, N Stybel, A Hiller, and M van Laak (2014a) Herring. An analysis of spawning ground management, ecological conditions and human impacts in Greifswald Bay, Vistula Lagoon and Hanö Bight. NMFRI, Gdynia, 177 pp. - Fey, D, A. Szkudlarek-Pawelczyk, and A. Wozniczka (2014b) Abundance and distribution of larval herring, Clupea harengus (Actinopterygii: Clupeiformes: Clupeidae) in the Pomeranian Bay, Baltic Sea as an indicator of spawning sites. Acta Ichthyologica et Piscatoria 44: 309–317 - HELCOM (2018a) HELCOM Map and Data service. Layers: mean slope and bottom currents. https://maps.helcom.fi/website/mapservice/. Accessed March 2019 - HELCOM (2018b) HELCOM Map and Data service. Layers: Seabed sediment polygon (BALANCE), Fucus distribution, Furcellaria lumbricalis distribution. https://maps.helcom.fi/website/mapservice/ Accessed 29 October 2018 - Kanstinger P, J Beher, G Grenzdörffer, C Hammer, KB Huebert, D Stepputtis, and M Peck (2018) What is left? Macrophyte meadows and Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) spawning sites in the Greifswalder Bodden, Baltic Sea. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 201:72-81) - Krasovskaya, N (2002) Spawning of Baltic herring in the Vistula Lagoon: Effects of environmental conditions and stock parameters. Bulletin of Sea Fish. Inst. No. 1 (155), Gdynia: 3–25 - Popiel, J (1984) On the biology of the Baltic herring. Reports of the Sea Fisheries Institute, Gdynia, vol. 19, 8-16.

  • This map shows probability of detection of harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) in the Baltic Sea, for May – Oct. This dataset was produced by the EU LIFE+ funded SAMBAH project and maps the probability of detection of harbour porpoises in the study area, which extends from the Åland Islands in the north to the Darss and Limhamn underwater ridges in the southwest. The study area excludes areas of depths greater than 80 m. Probability of detection was modelled using General Additive Modelling and static covariates such as depth, topographic complexity, month, spatial coordinates and with time surveyed as a weight. Monthly predictions were done on a 1x1 km grid and averaged to result in seasonal distribution maps for May – Oct and Nov – Apr. This division of the year is a result of visual inspection of data and results, showing a clear separation of spatial clusters of harbour porpoises in the summer season May – Oct and a more dispersed pattern with no clear separation in Nov – Apr.

  • This map shows probability of detection of harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) in the Baltic Sea, for Nov – Apr. This dataset was produced by the EU LIFE+ funded SAMBAH project and maps the probability of detection of harbour porpoises in the study area, which extends from the Åland Islands in the north to the Darss and Limhamn underwater ridges in the southwest. The study area excludes areas of depths greater than 80 m. Probability of detection was modelled using General Additive Modelling and static covariates such as depth, topographic complexity, month, spatial coordinates and with time surveyed as a weight. Monthly predictions were done on a 1x1 km grid and averaged to result in seasonal distribution maps for May – Oct and Nov – Apr. This division of the year is a result of visual inspection of data and results, showing a clear separation of spatial clusters of harbour porpoises in the summer season May – Oct and a more dispersed pattern with no clear separation in Nov – Apr.

  • Summary This marine benthic landscape map of the Baltic Sea includes 60 broad scale habitat types which are defined according to different combinations of bottom substrate, photic zone and salinty level. Description This dataset was produced by the EU funded Balance project and maps the ecologically relevant benthic landscapes (broad-scale benthic habitats) of the Baltic Sea, identified on salinity, sediments and photic depth (as light touching the seabed). This marine benthic landscape map of the Baltic Sea includes 60 broad scale habitat types which are defined according to different combinations of bottom substrate, photic zone and salinty level. Each habitat is described with a three digit grid code, where the first digit refers to bottom substrate, the second digit refers to photic zone and the third refers to salinity. Description of grid code digits: Bottom substrate: 1= bedrock, 2 = hard bottom, 3 = sand, 4 = hard clay, 5 = mud Photic zone: 1 = photic, 2 = aphotic Salinity: 1 = 0-5 psu, 2 = 5 - 7.5 psu, 3 = 7.5 -11 psu, 4 = 11 - 18 psu, 5 = 18-30 psu, 6 = <30 psu The approach to marine landscape mapping within the Baltic Sea is based on the use of available physical, chemical and hydrographic data to prepare ecologically meaningful maps for areas with little or no biological information. It is basically a broad-scale map-ping/modelling approach based on presenting geophysical and hydrographical data in thematic GIS layers from which “marine landscapes” can be derived. In order to limit the number of possible landscapes the thematic layers are typically presented in a lim-ited number of categories reflecting shifts in major ecological entities (e.g. distinguish between habitats assumed to be within or below the photic zone). The approach aims to recognise the ecological linkage between major assemblages of species and the physical environment in which they reside. It can be applied to charac-terising broad-scale benthic complexity using parameters such as surface sediment, temperature, water motion, photic depth and slope and for semi-enclosed areas, like the Baltic Sea, salinity and oxygen content.Due to the limited resolution of the dataset, it should be only used for broadscale purposes. The dataset also requires verifications. (The quality of data collated differs from high to low-resolution data. Some of the modelled datasets has 7km resolution while others have ~600m resolution. All datasets were re-gridded to a 200 × 200m grid. This process ensures data continuity but it does not increase the out-put map resolution.)