Management of habitats and species in MPAs


Marine protected areas (MPAs) are an important tool for conservation management of habitats and species in the marine environment and for keeping a resilient marine ecosystem in our seas. However, as shown for example in the WWF/Sky Ocean Rescue 2019 report Protecting our ocean – Europe’s challenges to meet the 2020 deadlines1 very few MPAs today have management measures in place, and the practical measures to take in an MPA to protect a certain species or habitat may not always be obvious. For our MPAs to be the absolutely necessary safe-havens of truly protected marine environment, we need to make sure that we have effective measures in place to reach the conservation objectives of our sites. With this series of briefs, we aim to contribute an easily accessible source of information on some of the most important habitats and species in the Baltic Sea Region, and on the measures that can be taken in MPAs designated to protect them. Our hope is that this resource will be useful for MPA managers and other stakeholders, and that it will help us take one more step towards well-managed marine protected areas.

How to use the briefs

The briefs are all structured in a similar way: They all include a general description of the species or habitat, its distribution in the Baltic Sea Region and its conservation status. After a discussion on pressures and threats follows some ideas about conservation and management objectives for the specific species or habitat. The practical measures section lists hands-on measures that can be taken “on the ground” to mitigate threats and improve the conservation status of the species or habitat in MPAs. Here lies the emphasis of these briefings as these are the measures that will actually improve the situation in our MPAs. The regulatory and supporting measures can support the practical measures. These sections describe the frameworks and possibilities for effective implementation of the practical measures.

List of management briefs
Baltic harbour porpoise, Phocoena phocoena
Harbour seal, Phoca vitulina
River Lamprey, Lampetra fluviatilis and sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus
Sea ducks
Habitat forming species:
Baltic blue mussel beds, Mytilus spp.
•  Eelgrass
Maerl beds
Physical habitats:
Coastal lagoons
Deep mud
Gravel beds

Download the full briefs in the link below.

Biodiversity and nature conservation