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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Gaps in current Baltic Sea environmental monitoring – Science versus management perspectives

Kahlert, Maria; Eilola, Kari; Mack, Leoni; Meissner, Kristian; Sandin, Leonard; Strömberg, Helena; Uusitalo, Laura; Viktorsson, Lena; Liess, Antonia


Legislations and commitments regulate Baltic Sea status assessments and monitoring. These assessments suffer from monitoring gaps that need prioritization. We used three sources of information; scientific articles, project reports and a stakeholder survey to identify gaps in relation to requirements set by the HELCOM's Baltic Sea Action Plan, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the Water Framework Directive. The most frequently mentioned gap was that key requirements are not sufficiently monitored in space and time. Biodiversity monitoring was the category containing most gaps. However, whereas more than half of the gaps in reports related to biodiversity, scientific articles pointed out many gaps in the monitoring of pollution and water quality. An important finding was that the three sources differed notably with respect to which gaps were mentioned most often. Thus, conclusions about gap prioritization for management should be drawn after carefully considering the different viewpoints of scientists and stakeholders.


Biology; Marine management; Literature review; Holistic gap analysis; Stakeholder survey

Published in

Marine Pollution Bulletin
2020, volume: 160, article number: 111669

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
Eilola, Kari
Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI)
Mack, Leoni
University of Duisburg-Essen
Meissner, Kristian
Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)
Sandin, Leonard
Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Resources
Uusitalo, Laura
Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)
Viktorsson, Lena
Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI)
Liess, Antonia
Halmstad University

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG14 Life below water

UKÄ Subject classification


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