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Press release


HELCOM to identify measures for the restoration of salmon and sea trout populations in the Baltic


Helsinki, 26 February (HELCOM Information Service) – The Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) has launched a project to make an inventory and classification of the historical and existing Baltic rivers with salmon and/or sea trout populations and suggest measures for restoration plans and active conservation for selected wild salmon river populations. This project, named SALAR (Project on the state of salmon (Salmo salar) and sea trout (Salmo trutta) populations in rivers flowing to the Baltic Sea), is part of the strategic HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan to radically reduce pollution to the sea and restore the good ecological status of the marine environment by 2021. The project is funded through a co-financing agreement between the European Commission (DG MARE) and HELCOM.

“The major outcome of the project will be recommendations and prioritization of measures in the rivers that are needed for the improvement of the status of salmon and sea trout populations,” says Anne Christine Brusendorff, HELCOM’s Executive Secretary. “The project is groundbreaking in that it offers a holistic view on the state of salmon and sea trout in the Baltic rivers and identifies the measures needed for their recovery and development. This will allow for the development of international and national programs for the funding and systematic realization of these actions.”

SALAR will compile and analyze data on the state of and pressures on salmon and sea trout populations, the quality of river waters and reproduction habitats as well as the possibilities for salmonid passage in rivers. The project will provide a classification of salmon and sea trout rivers based on agreed criteria and the compiled information.

The HELCOM countries will use the results of the project as a basis when implementing the actions of the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan concerning salmonids and other actions for the recovery and development of salmon and sea trout populations. The plan includes actions to identify at least ten endangered/threatened wild salmon populations and their conservation and the introduction of native salmon populations in at least four potential salmon rivers. Among other important actions are the development of restoration plans for migratory fish and measures to promote sustainable fisheries and the strengthening of salmon and sea trout populations.

The work will be based on the best available data from the fisheries and environment administrations in the Baltic coastal countries. The HELCOM Member States have nominated their national experts responsible for gathering, analyzing and submitting data for the project. At the kick-off meeting held on 27-28 January in Helsinki experts discussed and agreed on a data inquiry.

The final data compilation, analyses and drafting of the report and recommendations will be carried out by the HELCOM Secretariat in coordination with the nominated experts and the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute and ICES. The draft report will be prepared for consultation during fall 2010.


Follow-up: SALAR Project web page http://www.helcom.fi/projects/on_going/en_GB/HELCOMSALAR/


Note to Editors: 

The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, more usually known as the Helsinki Commission, or HELCOM, is an intergovernmental organisation of all the nine Baltic Sea countries and the EU which works to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution. 

HELCOM is the governing body of the "Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area," known as the Helsinki Convention.


For more information, please contact:

Mr. Orian Bondestam

Fisheries Adviser, HELCOM
Email: orian.bondestam@helcom.fi

Ms. Miia Mannerla

Project Researcher, HELCOM
Tel: +358 (0)400 459 349
Fax: +358 (0)207 412 645

Email: miia.mannerla@helcom.fi

Mr. Nikolay Vlasov

Information Secretary


Tel: +358 (0)46 850 9196

Fax: +358 (0)207 412 645

E-mail: nikolay.vlasov@helcom.fi