Marine biodiversity indicators are tools that enable following the changes in biological components of marine ecosystems, to link those changes with pressures as well as to assess the effectiveness of measures taken to reduce the pressures on different geographical scales, providing thereby a basis for informed decision making and adaptive management. However, a common understanding of indicators for assessing the biodiversity status of the Baltic Sea according to existing European legislation and international agreements does not exist yet. Quality objectives as well as aspirational indicators have been determined in the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan and the EU legislation, but precise indicators and their methodology still need to be developed. Currently several projects and working groups are dealing with this issue, including the MARMONI project who reviewed the existing sets of marine biodiversity indicators and elaborated a new set based on targets for good environmental status according to the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

The Indicators elaboration in the MARMONI project

At first: MARMONI project experts elaborated (in 2012) a draft set of innovative marine biodiversity indicators. A narrative report about project’s indicator work is available here. It contains a text file and the indicator tables on 225 pages and is a protected PDF file which cannot be edited and printed until the indicator list is finalized.

Then: all further changes were inserted only in the indicators data base (2012-2014) : MARMONI Indicator Database.

the report Martin G. et al (2014): “List of indicators for assessing the state of marine biodiversity in the Baltic Sea” is available. It includes results of development of a set of new, cost-effective and innovative indicators for assessment of marine biodiversity in the Baltic Sea. In MARMONI project the presented indicators were developed and tested on real data, often collected in a targeted manner in four project areas representing very different natural conditions available in the Baltic.


Cercopagis pengoi is being investigated                       Mytilus trossulusr is investigated in the

in the context of zooplankton indicators                      context of benthic habitat biodiversity

© Estonian Marine Institute                                                    © Estonian Marine Institute


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