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Finnish Environment Institute | Suomen ympäristökeskus | Finlands miljöcentral

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The SPICE general objective is to finalize and refine the HELCOM second holistic assessment of the ecosystem health of the Baltic Sea. The SPICE project will carry out the following themes which are also related to the qualitative descriptors of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive:

  • Theme 1: the assessments of biodiversity (descriptor 1), eutrophication (descriptor 5), hazardous substances (descriptor 8) and of the pressures, impacts, and human activities acting in the Baltic Sea region (Article 8b), based on approaches developed in the EU co-financed projects BalticBOOST and TAPAS,
  • Theme 2: develop marine litter baselines and make a proposal for the assessment of marine litter in HOLAS II (descriptor 10),
  • Theme 3: implement regional social and economic analyses based on methodology developed in TAPAS, develop approaches for the regional baseline and integration of the assessment of activities, pressures, impacts and economic and social effects (Article 8c),
  • Theme 4: develop assessments of cumulative impacts and lost area related to pelagic and seabed habitats and thresholds for allowing assessment of GES in different habitat types (descriptors 1 and 6 and related criteria in other descriptors).

SPICE outcomes

The SPICE Theme 1 coordinated and carried out the integrated assessments of biodiversity, eutrophication, hazardous substances and cumulative effects. These were included in the first version of the HELCOM second holistic assessment of the ecosystem health (http://stateofthebalticsea.helcom.fi/).

Theme 2 will produce an assessment of beach litter, seafloor litter and microlitter in the Baltic Sea, and definition of baselines if possible, depending on data available. The theme 2 will also propose a regional litter database.

Theme 3 produced the socio-economic assessments (an analysis of the use of marine waters and an analysis for the costs of degradation) to the first version of the HELCOM second holistic assessment of the ecosystem health (http://stateofthebalticsea.helcom.fi/). Theme 3 will also propose a method for the regional business as usual scenario for the Baltic Sea as well as recommendations how to use the existing integrated assessment tools to support an integrated environmental and socio-economic analysis of the marine environment.

Theme 4 of the SPICE will produce a report of approaches to define quantitative thresholds of good environmental status for underwater pelagic and benthic habitats. This report will also approach the thresholds from the view of anthropogenic pressures and produce a guidance report to calculate the area and proportion of lost, disturbed and adversely affected habitats.


The project received funding from the EU grant No. 11.0661/2016/748065/SUB/EN V.C2 under the DG ENV/MSFD Second Cycle/2016. SPICE is also presented in the HELCOM web site: http://www.helcom.fi/helcom-at-work/projects/spice

Published 2018-01-19 at 10:57, updated 2018-01-19 at 10:56