At the moment, there are no existing measure programmes for endangered marine species and biotopes in Finland; such a programme would improve the protection level so that populations as well as biotope surface areas could start growing.
This measure will develop measure programmes for the endangered species and biotopes in the Baltic Sea. In the first phase of the measure, information will be collected about the areas where endangered and poorly known species live, about their abundance and their status. In addition, new tools will be developed to increase information about poorly known species. This will be accomplished by extending the VELMU programme after 2015. Of underwater biotopes, flads and gloe lakes have been specifically mentioned in the Water Act (Chapter 2, Section 11). Only flads and gloe lakes with a surface smaller than 24.7 acres have been protected by the Water Act. Other underwater biotopes have not been protected. The measure especially emphasizes the species and biotopes listed in the Habitats Directive and Birds Directive by the EU. Furthermore, other species and biotopes that have been classified as endangered nationally, in HELCOM or in another international agreement will be examined. Information will also be gathered about human activities endangering these species and biotopes. This data will be utilized in creating measure programmes to improve the status of species and biotopes. Measure programmes can cover the protection of a single species or biotope, or they can consist of collections of several species and biotopes. Measure programmes can be created in collaboration with other countries, if necessary. When creating measure programmes, attention will be paid to the need and opportunities to further develop the network of marine national parks and other protected areas. The observation of measure programmes will also be examined in the planning of marine areas, in zoning and with environmental and water permits.
Information about poorly known species must be improved. Several hundred species and entire groups of organisms have been left out of national endangerment evaluations and the HELCOM one due to the lack of information. The number of evaluated species in the total number will grow as there is more information.
Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry