The Baltic Sea is a shallow and sensitive sea. Only a few species can live in brackish water, and they are more sensitive to changes than species adapted to salt water or fresh water. The low number of species means that the Baltic Sea is less protected from major environmental and/or climatic changes, as the loss of one species can have considerable consequences for the entire interconnected ecosystem. Åland has many coastal waters and lacks knowledge of which areas should be protected and which areas provide valuable ecosystem services.

The Åland Seamap project carries out mappings and surveys and uses models relating to the underwater environment to provide a comprehensive picture of the occurrence and range of biotopes. The project seeks to identify areas that should be protected and prepare proposals on new Natura 2000 sites as well as to initiate discussions with the relevant parties.

Objective of the measure:

The measure seeks to enhance the Natura 2000 network and to promote the conservation of the marine environment and its ecosystem services, such as healthy fish stocks and clean water for swimming and recreation, and to increase biodiversity.

PROGRESS: underway