The role of the Baltic Sea in the network of HELCOM BSPA

Since 2004, the Slovinski National Park has been enlarged with 2-mile passage of the Baltic Sea within the Baltic protection areas HELCOM BSPA (Baltic Sea Protected Areas). The main objective of creating HELCOM BSPA system is the protection of sea nature with particular attention to the Baltic biological resources, throughout the protection of species of flora and fauna, protection of their natural settlements as well as the protection of mechanisms regulating the functioning of sea eco-systems. The region of the Slovinski National Park, first of all, performs one of the main criteria of selecting sea protected areas. It means, it belongs to the least polluted Baltic coastal waters in the Polish zone, therefore, the accumulations of sea algae (e.g. red seaweed Furcellaria lumbricalis - unique for the Polish coastal zone) (Kangas and oth. 1982; Kruk-Dowgiałło 1994 and 1996), which have found their niches here, mollusc, crustacean and fish. From time to time, there appear mammals as well, e.g.: grey seal and ring seal which find here the places for rest while their wanders. Park coastal zone is characterised by quite a large dynamism of waters what favourably influences the self-purification of this region. Simultaneously, large waving and currants cause the erosion of shores, which in a natural way shapes the beach. 
The strength of the sea protected areas stays at the protection of the representative sample of the sea biological diversity as well as combined eco-systems, settlements and species, including also the terrains of a decisive significance for the reproduction and species development, particularly the ones endangered by extinction. Performing that, they also help to sustain principal processes of maintaining life in the sea, such as photosynthesis and productivity, maintaining food chains as well as degradation of polluting substances. Moreover, the protection of some terrains with the minimal, direct human being influence indicates, they have a chance for an easier liberating from the other burdening factors such as eutrophication, sedimentation as well as raised temperature resulting from global warming. 
The creation of modern sea protected areas relies, first of all, on rational managing of human being activities, who uses the sea resources. Among the others, it concerns overexploited fisheries, which disappear in the rapid space. Protecting the fisheries, sea-protected areas may favour the progress in the socio-economical results of the local communities. Presumably - what is even more significant in the Baltic Sea Region - sea protected areas may favour the increase of the local economy enriching the area profile as regards the sea tourism and recreation. Despite the fact that the intensive tourism constitutes the jeopardy for the sea fauna and flora, nevertheless it can be balanced throughout the proper management. Apart from bringing the advantages to tourism, sea protected areas are helpful in the increase of social awareness and support the issues concerning the protection of the sea areas both among the tourists as well as local population. Moreover, the sea protected areas provide the protection of the terrains of archaeological importance, ship-wrecks as well as sea landscapes of high cultural significance that also provide the possibility of education and trainings for schools of higher and secondary education. Moreover, these areas make the possibility of bringing closer all crucial sectors and interested bodies connected with the seaside zones. This is why, protected sea areas perform the role of models integrating the priorities in the field of management with various interested parties' needs. However, the processes connected with the sea-protected areas - when they run successfully - in the future, may also constitute the base for other initiatives connected with protection. 
Concluding, in order to utilise the natural resources in the rational way, the research is necessary that would serve the cognition of the mechanisms of sea ecosystem functioning. In the sea protected areas of this type, the research shall be carried out obligatory. Their findings enable carrying out the research that provide (Kruk-Dowgiałło and oth. 2000):

  • Sustaining the stability of biocenosis, continuity of species existence throughout maintaining bio-diversity and extincting species.
  • Sustaining the unique character of the water region throughout maintaining the unique species.
  • Possibility of restoration (within the protected area) of the proper resources standing throughout the reintroduction of autochthonous species and restocking the renewal measures.
  • Economical profits since the protected area may constitute a landscape, tourist and recreational attraction, may also be economically utilised (e.g. fishing industry), as far as the rule of balanced development is respected.
  • The category of protection of the sea parts of these areas shall be determined on the basis of the assessment of the natural values with the consideration to the significance of the water region to the local community.
  • The function of the nature protection in the sea parts of the protected areas constitutes a superior role but it is necessary to sustain simultaneously the economic functions, at the balanced level.
  • Contaminated sea parts of the protected areas shall be primarily comprised in the programme of limited down-flow of pollutants into them, from the inland resources and where it is necessary, there shall be taken the renewal activities.

Moreover, strict interdependence of the environmental sea processes with the economic activity both in the land and the sea, make the reason for the existence of the absolute need for unifying the management of the land-and-sea protected areas within the framework of the general strategy of the natural environment protection. This is why, also in the areas of HELCOM BSPA as well as the whole Baltic, there should be practiced the rule of co-existence and not the rule of temporary economical advantages what often in practice, performs at the cost of live organisms. 

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