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figure 4.jpgIndicator Fact Sheets

The aim of the HELCOM environmental Indicator Fact Sheets is to provide information on the recent state of and trends in the Baltic marine environment. The Indicator Fact Sheets are compiled by scientists in various research institutes around the Baltic Sea.  

At present, the Indicator Fact Sheets inform about:

  • hydrographic variations (temperature, salinity, inflows and runoff)  which largely regulate the marine life
  • inputs and concentrations of nutrients and hazardous substances
  • plankton blooms and species composition
  • radioactivity
  • illegal oil discharges.

An indicator presents information using data obtained by HELCOM monitoring programmes:

  • Pollution Load Compilations (PLC-Air and PLC-Water)
  • Cooperative Monitoring in the Baltic Marine Environment - COMBINE
  • Monitoring of Radioactive Sustances (MORS)

Indicators try to simplify a complex reality. One indicator does not explain the complex environmental problems. Each individual indicator explains something about the one issue it represents but practically nothing about the larger features or the system as a whole. Therefore the information presented in the Indicator Reports are at times combined in thematic and periodic assessments (e.g. the Baltic Marine Environment 1999-2002 (2003) and the Fourth Baltic Sea Pollution Load Compilation (2004)) which provide a more holistic approach to the complex environmental problems and their reasons.

In the near future, one important function of the indicators will be to show how the ecological quality objectives (EcoQOs) set by HELCOM are met. 


View the latest Indicator Fact Sheets.

View the procedure for HELCOM Indicator Fact Sheets.