The Baltic Sea is a marine area with brackisch water. Due to this an unique mix of marine and freshwater species adapted to the brackish conditions, as well as a few true brackish-water species are present in this ecosystem. Species that can be found in the area are e.g. bladderwrack, blue mussels, cod, herring, perch, pike, white tailed eagle and seals. The Baltic Sea case study is nested with the Helsinki Commission Baltic Sea Action Plan (HELCOM BSAP) at the higher level and the coastal areas of Puck Bay in Poland and Östergötland county in Sweden at the lower level.
The HELCOM BSAP is an ambitious programme to to restore the good ecological status of the Baltic marine environment by 2021. The plan aims to be fully in line with the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and all countries around the Baltic Sea have developed or are developing National Implementation Plans (NIPs) in which they apply national instruments for the implementation of the BSAP.
Puck Bay and Östergötland County both cover HELCOM Baltic Sea Protected Areas (BSPAs), but there are differences in the management of the two areas. Östergötland county has a relatively well developed spatial management, existing plans for nature conservation and relatively few stakeholder conflicts. In Puck Bay there is no spatial management plan and strong conflicts between fisheries, nature conservation and tourism.
Aim of Case Study
In this case study we will evaluate the applicability of the MESMA framework on the transnational, non-binding HELCOM BSAP as well as on the local level of Puck Bay and Östergötland County.
HELCOM works through intergovernmental cooperation between Denmark, Estonia, the European Community, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden. The HELCOM marine area includes the Kattegat and Baltic Seas and it encompasses several BSPAs. Management plans shall be developed for the BSAPs, including zoning plans and monitoring programme when appropriate.
Most of the coastal and marine area is pointed out as an area of national interest for nature conservation and recreation. Parts are also pointed out as areas of national interest for fisheries and energy production. The archipelago is facing new challenges as tourism, boat traffic and activities such as sports fishing, kayaking and sailing increase.
Puck Bay is subject to the most intensive human pressures and conflicts in the Polish marine Areas; used extensively by tourists and fisheries. The whole area is ecologically extremely vulnerable and is therefore covered by the Natura 2000 network with the areas planned for bird and habitat protection.
The Puck Bay is one of the two biologically most valuable areas within the Polish Exclusive Economic Zone, but also the most degraded one.
The Major conflict for space is between the conservation issue and fishery which operates in 100% of protected areas in the Puck Bay. The major obstacles for tourism are nature protection and fishery.
The definition of goals and objectives will be one of the most important goals of MESMA framework application in the Puck Bay.
Since the other area, Östergötland County, is more advanced in terms of management measures, the situations will be compared and we will try to assess the reasons behind it.