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Development of tools for a thematic eutrophication assessment (HELCOM EUTRO) (2005-2006)


Nutrient enrichment and eutrophication is a major environmental problem in the Baltic Sea and is still to be solved. One of HELCOM’s overarching goals is to reduce eutrophication and this requires a consensus on assessment procedures as well as a subsequent linking of effects and activities taking place in the drainage basin.


This pilot project will develop assessment tools for a Baltic Sea wide harmonisation of eutrophication assessment criteria and procedures including establishment of reference conditions for different parts of the Baltic Sea. The Project will at the same time be a test of the preliminary Pan-European guidance on assessment of eutrophication in European waters, but adapted to Baltic Sea specific features (reference conditions and differences in ecological responses to anthropogenic pressures in the different parts of the Baltic Sea).

This pilot project aims to assist the further development of the pan-European guidance for eutrophication assessment and the implementation process of WFD and other relevant EC Directives, the respective work of the marine conventions and finally, the European Marine Strategy.


The proposed pilot project, focusing on reference conditions and assessment of eutrophication status, will include the following steps:

  • Establishment of reference conditions, including co-ordination on a basin or sub-basin scale.

  • Agreement on assessment parameters.

  • Establishment of assessment metrics and principles, including a step-wise description of how reference conditions, acceptable deviation from reference conditions and final assessment of eutrophication status are linked.

  • Production and submission of sub-regional national reports.

  • Compilation of sub-regional national reports into a preliminary eutrophication assessment report, including description of objectives, principles and tools applied.

The tools to be developed will be generic and therefore applicable in all marine waters covered by the Helsinki Convention. When these tools have been adopted, the next step might be to produce a HELCOM thematic assessment of eutrophication, including both a technical-scientific assessment as well as an assessment of policies and strategies.


Project Manager: Jesper H. Andersen
Department of Marine Ecology
Frederiksborgvej 399
DK-4000 Roskilde
Tel: +45 46301280
E-mail: jha@dmu.dk