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Государственный Океанографический Институт
Государственный Океанографический Институт
Главная Новости ЛМЗ Зарубежные новости PRESS RELEASE HELCOM (October)
23.10.2014 00:00

Baltic seal monitoring systematized

23 October 2014

The core indicator development for marine mammals in the Baltic Sea area has been among key topics in the seal expert group meeting wrapping up today in Turku, Finland. The details for the operational core indicators, such as abundance, distribution and reproductive status, are timely since the overall HELCOM indicator work is at full speed, expecting finalization for the missing indicators in mid-2015. Once ready, the core indicators enable comparison of monitoring data and assessment results across the entire region, as well as allows for measuring any progress towards the Good Environmental Status of the Baltic Sea.

Furthermore, the seal expert meeting endorsed the guidelines on monitoring of seals, significantly improving the coordination of regional monitoring. The guidelines have been developed by the EU co-funded BALSAM project, which is also developing databases for seal abundance and distribution. The databases will be hosted by the HELCOM Secretariat and made available for all public.

So far only data on harbour porpoise has been updated in a dedicated database, therefore the development of the broader seal databases will aid to follow-up the population trends and status of these species.

In the 1970s and 1980s the populations of all seal species in the Baltic Sea were alarmingly low due to hunting and reproductive disorders which have been connected to chemical pollution. The HELCOM Recommendation 27-28/2 on Conservation of Seals in the Baltic Sea Area (2006) states that the long-term objectives for the management of Baltic Seals are a natural abundance and distribution and a health status that ensures their future existence. The Baltic Sea Action Plan further acknowledges the need for immediate conservation measures.

As a regular activity, the three teams of the HELCOM Ad Hoc Seal Expert Group – on population size, distribution and health – will give their respective reports in the Meeting.

Meeting site. All documents will be public after the Meeting.



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