Policy Briefs

Policy Briefs and Fact Sheets

Scientifically based information to policy makers

Policy Briefs are summaries of scientific knowledge, usually connected to a current managemental development or political proceeding, that aim to enhance engagement in important Baltic Sea issues. Our Policy Briefs are distributed to their relevant audience and presented by our experts at events.

Simmande sillstim

For cod’s sake – cut back fishing on herring and sprat

In the negotiations for next year’s fishing in the Baltic Sea, the EU Member States could take a number of important decisions to address the cod crisis, such as major reductions in quotas for catches of flatfish, herring and sprat in the southern Baltic.

Foto: Leif Ingvarsson/Mostphotos

Understanding MSY

MSY stands for Maximum Sustainable Yield, and can be understood as the largest annual harvest that a fish stock can produce in the long term. Although there is criticism of the concept, MSY is important to understand for everyone involved in fisheries management, as is the alternative concept of MEY, Maximum Economic Yield. This fact sheet describes the concept of MSY and discusses alternatives.

Pb Reach grafik

Policy Brief: European chemicals regulation needs more transparency

To meet the challenges of chemical risks in everyday life, risk assessments under the REACH registration process must be improved. One key element in that transformation is to introduce more transparency.

Rapport om musselodling

Report 2/2018: Limitations of using blue mussel farms as a nutrient reduction measure

Blue mussel farming has been suggested as a cost effective nutrient mitigation tool in the Baltic Sea, to complement land-based measures. However, the environmental conditions of the Baltic proper, particularly the low salinity, affect the nutrient uptake efficiency of the blue mussels.

Kemikalier i varor

Policy Brief: Why we need a list of ingredients on consumer articles

Today, information on the chemical composition of articles is very scarce, making it difficult to understand which potentially hazardous chemicals are being released to the Baltic Sea. There is an urgent need for standardized methods and legal incentives to increase the transparency.

farm structure has become the “elephant in the room”

Policy Brief: How changes in farm structure could help reduce nutrient leakage to the Baltic Sea

The specialisation and spatial separation of crop and livestock production is a strong driver of nutrient surpluses, which increase the risk of eutrophication. To address this problem, we found scientific support for at least three pathways: moving nutrients, moving livestock, and changing our diets.

Each year, 23 million pigs, 16 million cows, and 244 million chickens in the catchment together prod

Fact Sheet: Can changing our diets help the Baltic Sea?

Our diets have implications for the environment. This fact sheet describes the linkages between trade, production, and consumption of crop and livestock products and how it affects eutrophication in the Baltic Sea.

Dykare som simmar ovanför en musselodling

Policy Brief: Musselfarming in the Baltic Sea

Blue mussel farming is not an efficient measure against eutrophication in the Baltic Sea. Blue mussels grow slowly in brackish water and large farms risk harming the marine environment more than they benefit it.

Foto: Bengt Ekberg/ Azote

Policy Brief: Improving manure recycling in agriculture

Phosphorus is a finite resource. Efficient usage and recycling are essential. Recycling human sewage can help close the phosphorus cycle, but only partially meets circular economy goals.

Dapnia. Foto: Zandra Gerdes

Policy brief: Microplastics in marine life

A growing number of studies show that microplastics potentially worsen reproduction and survival of many marine animals. We still do not know exactly how harmful they are to marine life but current knowledge justifies robust political measures in order to cut the flow of microplastics to the marine environment.

Wastewater Policy brief

Policy Brief: Advanced wastewater treatment

New times call for new measures. Advanced wastewater treatment can be part of meeting the challenges of society’s ongoing chemical intensification. New water treatment techniques have the potential to significantly reduce emissions of both known and unknown substances to the aquatic environment and reduce the risk of marine pollution.

Zostera marina field. Photo: Hans Kautsky

Policy Brief: Raising quality of marine protection

A new Policy Brief from Baltic Eye at the Baltic Sea Centre on why preserving biodiversity and securing a sustainable exploitation of natural assets will require a new way of setting up marine protection.

The internal phosphorus load – recycles old sins

Policy Brief: The internal phosphorus load

The accumulated pool of phosphorus on land receives much less attention than the pool in the Baltic Sea, despite being substantially larger and the ultimate source to the sea. Actions taken to reduce the internal load will not address the causes of eutrophication. Instead, actions must focus on improving both nutrient use efficiency in agriculture and sewage treatment.

Nutrient recycling in agriculture – for a cleaner Baltic Sea

Policy Brief: Nutrient recycling in agriculture

Agriculture is a large source of nutrients to the Baltic Sea. Only about half of the nutrients in fertiliser and manure are converted to harvested crops. Nutrient use efficiency must improve.

Mikroplaster i Östersjön

Policy Brief: The cosmetics clean-up

Hygiene products are a small but important point source for microplastics to the environment. In a Policy Brief, Baltic Eye has summarized a number of recommendations on how to limit the release of microplastics from hygiene products.

Flerårsplan för fisket i Östersjön

Policy Brief: Multiannual plan

The cod stocks should be a top priority in the Baltic Sea says the Baltic Eye as a comment on the proposal for EU’s new multiannual management plan for Baltic cod, herring and sprat.

Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre

Baltic Eye - part of the Baltic Sea Centre - focuses on synthesis and gathering scientific knowledge that is relevant for decision makers in the Baltic region.