Theme 2, Hazardous substances, is refining an existing HELCOM tool for assessing the status hazardous substances. Key components for adequate assessment of hazardous substances are to agree on matrices for indicators and to have access to quality assured data.
Theme 3, Physical loss and damage to seabed habitats, is, as a starting point, exploring ways to determine how much disturbance from different activities that specific seabed habitats can tolerate while remaining in Good Environmental Status (GES). A tool for assessing the impacts of fishing gear on specific habitat types and species is also developed.
Finally, an arrangement for regular collection of data and information on pressures and activities that affect the Baltic Sea is being piloted, to provide support to this Theme as well as future assessment of pressures impacting the Baltic Sea. With this information as a basis the project will propose joint principles for defining environmental targets for pressures affecting seabed habitats.
Theme 4, Noise, focuses on Underwater Noise and will review existing knowledge on impact of noise in the Baltic Sea, explore the possibility to determine acceptable levels of underwater noise for marine species, and survey possible measures to manage and mitigate relevant impacts on the Baltic Sea.
Theme 5, Joint documentation of PoMs, supports the development of a joint document on regional coordinated Programmes of Measures and a system to follow-up actions agreed by HELCOM.