Sustainable Uses of Baltic Marine Resources - SUBMARINER

The Baltic Sea Region faces enormous challenges including growing transport, new installations, fishery declines, severe marine pollution with excessive nutrient input and the effects of climate change. But the future is not all bleak: novel technologies and growing knowledge provide opportunities for new uses of marine ecosystems, which may in the future not only have commercial appeal but also contribute to solve environmental problems. Algae and mussel cultivation reduce nutrient inflow while providing a source for bioenergy; offshore wind farms can smartly be combined with mariculture or wave energy installations; blue biotechnology utilises substances from marine organisms for development of new products that can improve overall BSR health.

All these uses and technologies have, however, not been tested sufficiently within the fragile conditions of the Baltic Sea and their cumulative impacts on the environment, economic feasibility and regional applicability are not yet fully understood.

It is thus currently difficult for decision-makers to judge which uses are most desirable and what actions are necessary to create a framework beneficial to their development while discouraging potentially damaging uses.

SUBMARINER builds the road for furthering those environmentally friendly as well as economically appealing innovative uses within the BSR, thus contributing toward its aim to become a model region for sustainable sea management. It does so by:

a) Selecting “best possible” future uses: *comprehensive inventory of new uses *estimate chances / resources across BSR *economic & environmental impact assessments *gaps & obstacles in legal framework *market & technology aspects *multi-perspective evaluation (WP3)

b) Encourage "best possible" future uses on regional scale: "develop plans / roadmaps for implementation of one or more uses in several BSR regions (WP4)

c) Stimulate cooperation among best possible users: *connect currently / disjointed constituencies through virtual & real networking, information exchange and cooperations events (WP5)

d) Promote 'best possible' uses: *develop economic / legal instruments,* joint standards & criteria, *incentives for wanted uses *discourage environmentally damaging uses *recommendations to regional, national & transnational support programmes / structures (all WPs)

Submariner will fulfil these goals through the work of a consortium of strong partners from all BSR countries which offer all expertise necessary for the project from their own sources. It combines centres of excellence for all new uses under discussion, regional development agencies and innovation centres as well as national environmental decision-makers.

Submariner is already well known to many of its target groups, including the transnational BSR networks involved in creating the path for a sustainable BSR, who have recognised Submariner as a potentially important reference for their future decision-making.

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