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Members of the FISH-PRO III project in Helsinki on 13 February 2019. © HELCOM


Coastal fish assessments will continue to be carried out in the Baltic Sea with renewed commitment from the HELCOM countries, as shown during the first meeting of the FISH-PRO III project that was held in Helsinki from 12 to 14 February 2019. 

The focus of the meeting was to finalize the revised monitoring guideline for coastal fish in HELCOM, and to follow up on the development work of the indicators used for the assessments of coastal fish.

"The Helsinki meeting took us a step further in the development of additional indicators for coastal fish," said Jens Olsson, project manager of FISH-PRO III and chair of the meeting.

The current HELCOM indicators on coastal fish notably evaluate the abundance of typical species of fish, such as perch and flounder, in the coastal areas of the Baltic Sea. They also evaluate the status of key functional groups such as piscivores, cyprinids and mesopredators.

FISH-PRO III – the Continuation of the Project for Baltic-wide assessment of coastal fish communities in support of an ecosystem-based management – follows the FISH-PRO II project. Findings from FISH-PRO II were recently published in the third assessment on coastal fish

HELCOM thematic assessments on coastal fish have been produced since 2006. 

Attended by participants from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden, the meeting was instrumental in outlining the project's thematic areas of work and workplan for the coming years. 

Furthermore, the assessments produced by FISH-PRO III will also feed the Baltic Sea Action Plan update process.