Decision support tool for MPAs

The main output of the Inception Phase of BALTFIMPA was the preliminary version of the BALTFIMPA Generic Tool, developed by HELCOM's national experts with technical assistance from DTU Aqua. Here we present the background document describing such Tool.

The document begins with a short literature review of available sources on the ecosystem effects of commercial fishing activities, and then goes on to detail the development of the Tool, the levels of information included in the Tool, and how the Tool should be used. This document should guide the user through the Tool, so that they understand the information behind the Tool and how to use the Tool.

A PDF version of the document is available at this link.

The ultimate objective of the Generic Tool is to give guidance and advice to the HELCOM Contracting Parties on impacts of different fishing practices and gear on protected habitats and species in the Baltic Sea. Therefore, the preliminary version of the Generic Tool is intended to be used as a guide to how different gear types can affect different marine habitats, and can help in setting priorities for more specific assessments. That said, the Tool, especially in its preliminary version, does not give the definitive answer for specific marine protected areas and species. At this stage, the Tool should only provide guidance on whether such a detailed assessment of fisheries impacts is needed for specific MPAs.

Furthermore, the Tool is focusing entirely on the interactions of fisheries and conservation areas. These are part of a much broader picture where other anthropogenic impacts, such as pollution or eutrophication, can have a major role in determining the ultimate conservation status. In this version, the Tool is not meant to give a comprehensive account of other pressures or a perspective view where all impacts are evaluated and scaled accordingly.

The Tool also includes a list of environmentally-sound/sustainable/selective fishing gears which is a living document constantly under work and aims at giving options for sustainable management.​

The preliminary version of the BALTFIMPA Generic Tool is currently awaiting further development and therefore it is only available upon request. Please contact BALTFIMPA managers to request a preview.​,


Project Researcher (BALTFIMPA)
Mr. Marco Milardi
Phone: +358 40 557 5631
Fax: +358 (0)207 412 645
Skype name: helcom51

Professional Secretary
Mr. Mikhail Durkin
Phone: +358 46 850 9195
Fax: +358 (0)207 412 645
Skype name: helcom04