Background

Eutrophication is regarded as the most severe threat to the Baltic Sea, affecting the the structure and functioning of the marine ecosystem resulting in e.g. algal blooms, and in turn reduced water transparency and oxygen depletion. Shipping contributes significantly to the eutrophication through nitrogen air emissions, sewage and waste pollution, and, as a result, the maritime transport system needs to be optimised to meet the demands of a sustainable development. The problem has been addressed by the HELCOM action plan, by the five point action plan of BSSSC, as well as by the endorsement of the Baltic Sea EU strategy through CBSS.

The problems are however not only seen by policy, but also by ports and shipping itself. Previous EU projects developed strategies which influenced EU policy and e.g. resulted in EU recommendation for shoreside electricity and the EU Baltic Sea action plans). With the Clean Baltic Sea Shipping project (CLEANSHIP) the action plans will be transformed to action again; at the heart of CLEANSHIP is the joint development of a clean shipping strategy, harmonisation of environmental differentiated port dues, and the development of concerted technical pilot systems regarding infrastructure for shoreside electricity, gas and LNG supply, and sewage reception in ports. CLEANSHIP will have the aim to reduce ship borne air pollution both in the Baltic Sea per se as well as in ports and port cities of the Baltic Sea Region. Shipping is international.

CLEANSHIP" is funded by the Baltic Sea Region Programme 2007-2013, where it is part of the Action Plan of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Regionā€˜s priority area 4 "To become a model region for clean shipping". On policy level CLEANSHIP is considered a part of EU Baltic Sea Strategy flagship project "Promote measures to reduce emissions from ships and enhance the development" (under priority area 4), and it will seek to anchor the Clean Shipping Strategy in EU policies (ENV, MAR, TR, EN, REGIO). This will be done in close collaboration with the EU projects InnoShip, Clean North Sea Shipping and Green EFFORTS. On the strategic level the project will bring about harmonisation of environmentally related harbour dues, contribute to the IAPH environmental ship index, identify existing agreements between ports and develop systems for shoreside electricity, gas and LNG supply and sewage reception in ports.

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The eutrophication status of the Baltic Sea based on average, data for 2003-2007 at 110 assessment units in the Baltic Sea. The assessments are based on an integration of the results from core set indicators on nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) concentrations, chlorophyll a concentrations, water transparency and zoobenthos communities using the HELCOM Eutrophication Assessment Tool (HEAT). The interpolated map has been produced in three steps: 1) the integrated status of coastal assessment units have been interpolated along the shores, 2) the integrated status of open sea basins have been interpolated and 3) the coastal and open interpolations have been combined using a smoothing function. The larger circles indicate the status of open sea assessment units and the smaller circles that of the coastal assessment units. (from HELCOM)

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