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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

A Synthesis of Marine Monitoring Methods With the Potential to Enhance the Status Assessment of the Baltic Sea

Mack, Leoni; Attila, Jenni; Aylagas, Eva; Beermann, Arne; Borja, Angel; Hering, Daniel; Kahlert, Maria; Leese, Florian; Lenz, Robin; Lehtiniemi, Maiju; Liess, Antonia; Lips, Urmas; Mattila, Olli-Pekka; Meissner, Kristian; Pyhalahti, Timo; Setala, Outi; Strehse, Jennifer S.; Uusitalo, Laura; Wranne, Anna Willstrand; Birk, Sebastian


A multitude of anthropogenic pressures deteriorate the Baltic Sea, resulting in the need to protect and restore its marine ecosystem. For an efficient conservation, comprehensive monitoring and assessment of all ecosystem elements is of fundamental importance. The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission HELCOM coordinates conservation measures regulated by several European directives. However, this holistic assessment is hindered by gaps within the current monitoring schemes. Here, twenty-two novel methods with the potential to fill some of these gaps and improve the monitoring of the Baltic marine environment are examined. We asked key stakeholders to point out methods likely to improve current Baltic Sea monitoring. We then described these methods in a comparable way and evaluated them based on their costs and applicability potential (i.e., possibility to make them operational). Twelve methods require low to very low costs, while five require moderate and two high costs. Seventeen methods were rated with a high to very high applicability, whereas four methods had moderate and one low applicability for Baltic Sea monitoring. Methods with both low costs and a high applicability include the Manta Trawl, Rocket, Sediment Corer, Argo Float, Artificial Substrates, Citizen Observation, Earth Observation, the HydroFIAR (R) pH system, DNA Metabarcoding and Stable Isotope Analysis.


Baltic Sea Action Plan; Marine Strategy Framework Directive; Water Framework Directive; data acquisition; marine management

Published in

Frontiers in marine science
2020, volume: 7, article number: 552047

Authors' information

Mack, Leoni
University of Duisburg Essen
Attila, Jenni
Finnish Environment Institute
Aylagas, Eva
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
Beermann, Arne
University of Duisburg Essen
Borja, Angel
Hering, Daniel
University of Duisburg Essen
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
Leese, Florian
University of Duisburg Essen
Lenz, Robin
Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemuende Leibniz Institut fur Ostseeforschung Warnemunde
Lehtiniemi, Maiju
Finnish Environment Institute
Liess, Antonia
Halmstad University
Lips, Urmas
Tallinn University of Technology
Mattila, Olli-Pekka
Finnish Environment Institute
Meissner, Kristian
Finnish Environment Institute
Pyhalahti, Timo
Finnish Environment Institute
Setala, Outi
Finnish Environment Institute
Strehse, Jennifer S.
University of Kiel
Uusitalo, Laura
Finnish Environment Institute
Wranne, Anna Willstrand
Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute
Birk, Sebastian
University of Duisburg Essen

UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences

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