Welcome to the MARMONI project website!

The Baltic Sea is a particularly fragile ecosystem having many characteristic features not found anywhere else in the world. The high ecological complexity in the Baltic Sea is mainly caused by simultaneous influence of multiple ecological gradients (salinity, climate, exposure, geology, geomorphology etc.). This results in uniqueness of the ecological features in almost all locations in the Baltic Sea. Habitat degradation as well as modification in any particular location in the Baltic may have a fatal impact on its biological diversity.

If we want to protect the Baltic Sea’s fragile ecosystem and keep economic growth within sustainable limits, we need to know more about the marine nature; if we want to monitor and assess changes in the ecosystem or pressures from economic activities in the sea and at its coastal areas, we need at first to describe the state of marine biodiversity.

Monitoring the state of marine biodiversity was the main issue, which the MARMONI project aimed to contribute to – by developing indicators for monitoring and assessment of marine biodiversity, conservation status of species and habitats, as well as impacts of human activities in the Baltic Sea. Project also aimed at playing a front runners’ role in developing, discussing, testing, assessing and recommending a set of  indicators and relevant monitoring methods in a certain regional context  with the clear aim to promote its results Baltic Sea region and beyond.  MARMONI wanted to feed into these processes with the work of its multinational team of outstanding experts from well-known institutions ready to contribute to the marine biodiversity indicator development task and ready to share their knowledge and lessons learned with a wider audience. The project has been implemented in four countries – Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Sweden.

MARMONI has achieved results on the following issues:

  • Developing a set of  marine biodiversity indicators;
  • Testing the indicators and survey methods in the field (four demonstration areas) and proposing a few  for wider application e.g. at Baltic Sea level;
  • Assessing cost & time effectiveness of these methods and trying to judge on costs of indicators for biodiversity monitoring versus completeness of gathered information;
  • Applying the indicators for biodiversity assessment according to Good Environmental Status (GES) of the MSFD as well as Favourable Conservations Status (FCS) of Species and Habitats according to the Habitats Directive;
  • Demonstrating marine spatial management in Sweden to apply the indicators and survey methods at spatial dimension and make it applicable at planning processes;
  • Accompanying and impacting implementation of the MSFD in the four target countries and contributing to indicator based marine biodiversity assessment and monitoring at Baltic Sea scale;
  • Providing recommendations and forwarding lessons learned on indicator development, assessment of marine biodiversity and future marine monitoring programmes to competent authorities and policy makers;
  • Informing stakeholders on marine biodiversity and its regulating policy frame as well as involving them into monitoring and supervision;
  • Promoting MARMONI results at international conferences and seminars;
  • Providing scientific backstopping for future monitoring methods and indicators by preparation and submission of a series of articles to scientific journals and preparing comprehensive publications under MARMONI logo.



Project co-financiers: Latvian Environmental Protection Fund and Estonian Environmental Investment Centre