Research topics


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Pollution and Ecosystem Health

Chemical pollution is a key component in the assessment of the health status of ecosystems. Awareness and concern over hazardous substances and their effects on the marine ecosystem have again increased with emerging substances from urban areas: pharmaceuticals, microplastics as well as persistent organic flame retardants and surfactants. To foster the health status of ecosystem, we have to yield a better insight into the sources of chemical pollution, the levels and effects of contaminants as well as mitigation measures in the Gulf of Finland area.


Of all anthropogenic disturbances eutrophication is the best known but also very difficult to mitigate. Although the adverse eutrophication process in the Gulf of Finland has decelerated in the 2000’s it is still the most severe environmental problem of the GOF. The Gulf can be restored to an ecologically sustainable state if we implement the agreed nutrient reduction targets and use the Gulf in a sustainable manner. We need science to tell us how successful we are in trying to turn the state of the Gulf of Finland towards an improving path.

Maritime traffic

Maritime traffic in the Baltic Sea is expected to further increase in the future. More diesel oil, LNG, and biofuels will be transported due to the new legislative drivers affecting on use of oils. More traffic is accompanied by higher risk for accidents despite advanced risk management measures. So there is a need for a continuous extensive research concerning the safety of maritime traffic.

Geodiversity – biodiversity

Environmental diversity consists of biological and geological elements. Biodiversity represents the variety of organisms present in an ecosystem. Geodiversity can be described as the variety in elements of geology and the natural landforms. The habitats and species in the Gulf of Finland are threatened by human activities affecting negatively the state of the Gulf ecosystem. Biodiversity and geological resources in the GOF region can, however, be sustained.

Fish and fisheries

Fisheries research aims at the holistic ecosystem approach providing usable stock assessment supporting the sustainable utilization of fish resources in the Gulf of Finland area. Consequently, focus is also in the ecosystem based fisheries management.

Climate change

Anthropogenic climate change is projected to increase surface temperature, decrease salinity, and increase land-based nutrient load in the Baltic Sea area. The Baltic Sea environment – in its predicted form at the end of the century – is something that has probably never taken place before. Such changes will threaten Gulf of Finland’s biodiversity and worsen eutrophication. It is not clear how these changes will interact with other human-induced changes in the Gulf ecosystem.

Maritime spatial planning

Human actions have a strong impact on the Gulf of Finland and its ecology. A common maritime plan is needed for the area, taking into account the interests of the bordering countries within areas such as energy production, fishing and shipping.





Published 2017-12-13 at 16:43, updated 2018-01-18 at 19:48