The amount of data available in the Baltic Sea area is unprecedented for a marine region. However, data are often stored independently, only exist as static spreadsheets and are not available to the general public.
The aim of the BaltiCheck project is to consolidate and make the data within HELCOM about species and their distribution publically available, link this information to the HELCOM Checklist information and develop an accessible database to store the consolidated data. Collating the data in a joined database will ensure access to region wide information with open access to the public.
The main steps for upgrading the HELCOM Checklist of Baltic Sea Species are:
species already available within HELCOM.
database with the available data and;
The database itself will function as a backbone for information about species and their spatial as well as temporal occurrence in the Baltic Sea. Collating already available data will increase the usability of already provided data by regional and national institutions. Furthermore, the process can help identifying data-gaps and facilitate the aggregation of any missing information. Overall the BaltiCheck project provides the necessary information to analyse individual species, entire species groups as well as biodiversity on a regional scale. Consequently, the database will be a valuable resource for modelling, analyses, assessment and evaluation work, including for biodiversity, biogeography, and future prospects under a changing climate and can be used for current as well as future projects at HELCOM and on a national level.