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What is the status of the Archipelago Sea food web?

News 2018-03-12 at 9:26

In the coming weeks senior research scientist Laura Uusitalo and her collegues interview the local stakeholders and managers about their views of the Archipelago Sea ecosystem and its functioning, and about the aspects of marine nature and associated goods and services they hold valuable and important. The interviews are part part of the international project BONUS BLUEWEBS.

The Archipelago Sea ecosystem has a lot to offer: fisheries, recreation, as well as business opportunities. At the same time, however, the ecosystem faces multiple pressures: fishing pressure, invasive species, eutrophication and hazardous substances affect the ecosystem’s functions in ways we are now only beginning to understand.

The international BONUS BLUEWEBS project, coordinated by the Finnish Environment Institute, will for the first time develop a model for the Archipelago Sea to assess functioning and changes within the ecosystem, focusing on the food web.

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The project BONUS BLUEWEBS evaluates how the goods and services provided by the sea are influenced by different significant changes, such as invasive species. © Riikka Puntila

“We evaluate how goods and services provided by the sea, such as fisheries catches and recreation, are influenced by the significant changes affecting the sea, such as eutrophication and invasive species. The goal is to understand how the use of marine resources should be guided to maximize benefits”, says project coordinator Laura Uusitalo.

As part of the work, we are interviewing Archipelago Sea stakeholders and managers about how they view the Archipelago Sea ecosystem and its functioning, and about the aspects of marine nature and associated goods and services they hold valuable and important.

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"Our goal is to understand how the use of marine resources should be guided to maximize benefits”, says project coordinator Laura Uusitalo. © Thierry Winn

“To the interviews, we invite, for example, fishermen and entrepreneurs in tourism, local decision-makers and association representatives. The information gained through the interviews will help researchers better understand the perspectives and wishes of the people using the sea”, says Laura Uusitalo. “Combined with the project’s studies of how Baltic Sea ecological communities and food webs at multiple locations have changed over the past decades, we will get an integrated view into the current status and potential future of the Baltic Sea.”

The BONUS BLUEWEBS project runs for three years (April 2017—March 2020) and includes researchers from five Baltic Sea countries (Finland, Sweden, Germany, Lithuania and Poland). Finland is represented by the Finnish Environment Institute, as well as by Åbo Akademi University. In late 2017, the project was awarded flagship status as part of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, showing that the EU values the projects aims to promote diverse and sustainable use of the Baltic Sea.

More information:

Senior Research Scientist Laura Uusitalo, SYKE, tel. +358 295 251 719, firstname.lastname@ymparisto.fi


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