About the product
This report presents the GIWA assessment of the Baltic Sea region. It is a semi-enclosed sea, which together with other physical as well as socio-economic characteristics, makes it very sensitive to anthropogenic pressures. Eutrophication remains the most pressing problem in the region, as nitrogen and phosphorus inputs are still too high, despite considerable efforts to reduce discharges. The issue of overexploitation of fish is also considered as a severe problem, mainly due to the overutilisation of fishing quotas, high exploitation rate and oversized fleet capacity. The past and present status and future prospects of these issues are discussed, and they are traced back to their root causes. Policy options to mitigate these problems are proposed, which are closely connected to the basic principles of the Helsinki Convention and EU Water Framework Directive to cater for a harmonised implementation of water protection measures in the Baltic Sea States.