Biodiversity and nature conservation


November 5, 2020

Joint NGO letter to EU Commission on Baltic proper harbour porpoise

In September 2020, together with NABU, WWF, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, Swedish Society for Nature Conservation and Danish Society for Nature Conservation, we sent a letter to Virginijus Sinkevičius, EU Commissioner for Environment, Ocean and Fisheries, on the protection of the Baltic proper harbour porpoise.

In the letter, we expressed our concern about the low level of ambition in the current negotiations within BALTFISH to develop a Joint Recommendation [1]. The current BALTFISH proposal for measures does not meet the legal requirements to protect this population, and is missing key components of the ICES advice [2].

Read the full NGO letter and Commissioner Sinkevičius´s reply.


September 5, 2019

CCB joined the Ocean Call for G7

We have joined and signed the Ocean Call, which carries the voice and the commitments of more than 50 organizations mobilized for the ocean alongside Surfrider Foundation Europe.

Following the G7 Summit, the Ocean Call will also be staged at the United Nations Climate Change Summit in New York in September, at the COP 25 in Chile in December and finally at the COP 15 on Biodiversity in China in 2020.

Read the full declaration here.

March 6, 2019

Real actions, not ´realistic´ wishes – a recipe for an updated Baltic Sea Action plan

On 6-7 March high-level representatives met at the 40th Meeting of the Helsinki Commission. On this occasion, CCB was grateful to share the concerns of civil society organizations and almost a million individual members of CCB´s network around the Baltic Sea. Our concerns were (and are) connected with continuous and increasing violations of the fundamental principles and provisions of the Helsinki Convention:

  • Precautionary principle and science-based management;
  • Transparency, trust and sharing information to minimize transboundary impacts;
  • Joint measures for reaching joint goals, instead of prioritising actions of “overriding national interest”.

Read the full CCB´s statement here.


December 7, 2018

A joint NGO proposal to EU Ministers regarding European eel

On December 17th and 18th 2018 the EU Fisheries Council (AGRIFISH) will decide on fishing opportunities for 2019 and will address measures for critically endangered European eel. ICES has yet again repeated their advice that: “all anthropogenic impacts (e.g. caused by recreational and commercial fishing on all stages, hydropower, pumping stations, and pollution) that decrease production and escapement of silver eels should be reduced to – or kept as close to – zero as possible in 2019” [ICES Advice 7th November 2018].

We call upon – together with The Fisheries Secretariat, Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, Our Fish, Seas at Risk and WWF – the EU Commission and Member States to act accordingly in light of this advice, the same advice ICES has given for over 15 years.

Read the full letter here.

August 13, 2018

50 NGOs call on the International Seabed Authority to reconsider the need for deep sea mining

As the International Seabed Authority (ISA) gathers in Jamaica (24th session, July 2018), environmental organisations are calling on governments to wake up to the irreversible harm that deep sea mining will inflict, not only to marine ecosystems but also to global efforts to transition to a sustainable economy.

In a joint statement to the ISA, 50 organisations, including CCB, Greenpeace and Seas At Risk, warn of significant loss of biodiversity if the world’s seabeds are opened up to mining.

Read the full statement here.

June 28, 2018

CCB position on grey seals in the Baltic Sea

In line with Art. 14-16 of the EU Habitats Directive, hunt on specific seal populations can be allowed, under strict conditions, provided that the conservation status of the population is monitored to ensure that it is maintained at a favourable conservation status. Based on this, grey seal hunt is only allowed in Sweden (600 animals), Finland(1050), Åland (450), Estonia (37) and Denmark (only Bornholm, 40).

However within 2017-2018 several incidents of suspected deliberate illegal killing of grey seals were observed in Lithuania (26), Germany (23-27, Rugen), Finland (2, Hamina), Poland (>10, Eastern Pomerania) and Russia (3, Kaliningrad).

Read our full position here.

June 13, 2018

CCB supports the joint call on the European anti-fraud office to open a formal investigation about electric fishing

CCB has signed the joint formal request, lead by the Bloom Association, to the European Anti Freud Office (known as OLAF from the French “Office européen de lutte antifraude”) to conduct an investigation into whether fraud has occurred in relation to the Dutch electric trawl fishery.

Electric fishing is one of the worst fishing practice and it MUST be banned in Europe!

Read the full PR here.

March 5, 2018

Joint NGO letter to ministers about HELCOM BSAP

A joint NGO letter from CCB, Oceana and WWF to the minsters of environment concerning the progress towards BSAP goals in 2021. This letter was sent as part of the Ministerial meeting in HELCOM, 6th of March 2018:  Joint Letter to ministers on BSAP WWF Oceana CCB


February 28, 2017

To reach the SDGs globally the Baltic-wide actions need to be implemented first!

logo_2rToday, high-level representatives of the HELCOM Contracting Parties will meet in Helsinki to discuss how the Baltic Sea Region can contribute to the global goals on the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources by 2030. Actions related to eutrophication, marine litter and climate change will be given special focus in the discussions.

On behalf of environmentally concerned citizens of the Baltic Sea catchment, Coalition Clean Baltic would like to share some input to this work and bring to the attention of regional decision-makers the urgent needs to be addressed in order to reach the Sustainable Development Goals, (SDGs) and, even more importantly, to save the Baltic Sea from further deterioration.

Read the full statement here.







May 12, 2016

Ministers: take action and uphold your responsibilities on marine protection

CCB has joined a group of NGOs  (Greenpeace, Oceana, WWF, Swedish and Danish Societies for Nature conservation, Swedish and Danish Anglers Associations, Living Sea and Fisheries Secretariat) and written an open letter to the ministers in Denmark and Sweden asking them to uphold the existing closed areas in the Kattegatt. The area has been closed to fishing since 2009 and may represent on of the few productive fishing areas in EU that has not been trawled at all the past 7 years.

The joint NGO position is that the area must be made a permanent closed area not only to protect fish reproduction and weak fish stocks but also because of natural values existing in the area. Following the closure in 2009, the recovery of the bottom in the area is remarkable and to protect the area permanently suits well with EU and Member states ambitions under Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) implementation. In fact the opposite, to not protect it, is hard to argue for or even consider due to the uniqueness of such a trawl free area. Opening up the area for active fishing and especially towed gear such as trawls is going from an clearly improved or even good environmental status (GES) towards not meeting the GES objective. That is a breach of the objectives of not only MSFD but also Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

The full letter can be read here (in Swedish): Brev Kattegatt final svenska



Scientific statement: the area closed for fishing since 2009 has had clear positive effects and should stay in place. Read (in Swedish)

Swedish Scientific evaluation of the area (in English):

STECF evaluation of the effects of the closed area (in English):


March 11, 2016

Statement at the 37th Meeting of the Helsinki Commission, 10-11 March 2016

Once again, we would like to share with you the concerns of civil society organizations and over 800,000 individual members of CCB’s network around the Baltic Sea.

Read Statement here: CCB_statement_HELCOM37_2016

February 15, 2016

Update of information regarding anthropogenic threats to Kurgalskiy Nature Reserve, Leningrad Oblast, Russia

CCB expressed its concerns regarding potential threats of industrial and urban developments in the vicinity of Kurgalsky Peninsula and Nature Reserve, the site of international importance, both listed as HELCOM MPA (#166) and the Ramsar Convention wetland (#690) at HELCOM HOD 49-2015

Read statement here: 7-2 Update of information regarding anthropogenic threats to Kurgalskiy Nature Reservey_CCB


December 1, 2015

CCB statement on the conservation of the Baltic Sea harbour porpoise

These are CCB proposals for action for the conservation of the Baltic Sea harbour porpoise population. These actions are necessary for all EU Member States to fulfill the demands on monitoring programs and programs of measures under the MSFD, and to meet the requirements of the Habitat Directive and the HELCOM BSAP.

 Read the statement here: CCB_statement_on_porpoise_to_fulfill_MSFD_and_HELCOM_2015

November 19, 2015

Call for HELCOM action regarding Baltic MPAs within Russian part of the Gulf of Finland

In early September 2015, Coalition Clean Baltic approached Russian federal, regional and municipal authorities, as well as HELCOM, with a call for urgent action regarding the situation around one of the HELCOM Baltic MPAs and Ramsar sites in the Russian part of the Gulf of Finland, namely Kurgalsky Natural Reserve.

Read statement here: 4-18 Call for HELCOM action regarding Baltic MPAs within Russian part of the Gulf of Finland

November 19, 2015

Funding the EU MSFD Programs of Measures

A crucial part of the coherent implementation of the BSAP and the EU MSFD is the commitment to fund the needed measures to reach the GES targets. CCB is becoming concerned that several CPs being also EU MS have argued at different occasions, including the IG PoM and EU MSCG, that funding is a major problem for implementing the MSFD PoMs.  For a number of reasons CCB considers these claims unjustified.

Read statement here: 4-17 Funding the EU MSFD Programs of Measures_CCB

November 2, 2015

Physical loss and damage to the sea floor: marine sediment extraction in the Baltic Sea

HELCOM’s Initial Holistic Assessment of Ecosystem Health of the Baltic Sea (BSEP122) considers dredging and marine sediment extraction as pressures, which can have large impacts on local marine environments. Such impacts include smothering of benthic organisms, abrasion of the sea bottom, as well as increased siltation and resuspension of contaminated bottom sediments caused by dredging/extraction activities. Scientific studies, underwater observations and hydrographic surveys have shown that impacted bottom sites can take decades to recover, if at all do so.

Read statement here: 7J-5 Physical loss and damage to the sea floor marine sediment extraction in the Baltic Sea

November 2, 2015

Call for action regarding the situation around Kronshtadskaya Kolonia Reserve, Russia

The Coalition Clean Baltic would like to raise the attention of HELCOM State & Conservation Group experts and call for urgent HELCOM’s action regarding the situation around Bronka multifunctional marine cargo complex and neighbor nature reserve “Kronshtadskaya Kolonia”, located in St.Petersburg, Russian Federation.

Read statement here: 3N-6 Call for action regarding the situation around Kronshtadskaya Kolonia Reserve, Russia

October 23, 2015

Call for action regarding the alarming situation around Kurgalskiy Nature Reserve, Russia

The Coalition Clean Baltic would like to raise the attention of HELCOM STATE & CONSERVATION Group experts and call for urgent HELCOM’s action regarding the alarming situation being reported around Kurgalskiy State (Regional) Nature Reserve, located in Leningrad Oblast of the Russian Federation.

Read statement here: 3N-4Cover CCB letter on Kurgalskiy

September 18, 2015

Open letter addressing Russian authorities and HELCOM

Open letter addressing Russian authorities and HELCOM with regards to an alarming situation around Kurgalskiy Nature Reserve at the coastline of the Gulf of Finland.

The letter addresses the situation, which mainly concerns conflicts between nature protection goals, large infrastructure projects and urban planning of the coastal area in the vicinity of the Kurgalskiy State Nature Reserve. The situation requires urgent action to prevent damage to natural amenities of this Protected Area and save it as the only MPA within Russian part of the Baltic Sea that covers both land and sea area.

Read the letter here. Note: the letter is both in English and Russian.

August 19, 2015

Time to Stop Eel fishing

CCB together with 28 environmental organizations has sent this letter to the EU Commission demanding that all eel fishing in Europe should stop and that other needed action to halt the human induced eel mortality until the stock has recovered must be put in place. Read the letter here

June 3, 2015

Proposals for scope of the review and updating of part II Annex III (Prevention of pollution from agriculture) of the Helsinki Convention

HELCOM HOD 47-2015 requested the Agri group to develop a proposal for the review process of part II of Annex III for the consideration by the Heads of Delegation. Once the scope of the review has been decided on by HOD, the revision process could start. The Meeting invited the Contracting Parties to consider co/leading the review/revision work.

Read statement here: 3-25 Proposals for scope of review of part II Annex III of Helsinki Convention


Statements 2002–2013