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The Baltic Sea

About the Sea

The Baltic is the youngest sea on our planet, emerging from the retiring ice masses only some 10,000-15,000 years ago. Governed by special hydrographical and climatic conditions, the Baltic Sea is one of the planet’s largest bodies of brackish water. Saltwater from the North-East Atlantic blends with fresh water from the surrounding rivers and streams that run through the 14 different countries in the catchment. A delicate mixture that yields a highly sensitive and interdependent marine ecosystem with unique flora and fauna.

However, these special qualities also make it vulnerable. Over the past 100 years, the Baltic Sea has degraded quite dramatically. Human pressures such as overfishing, pollution and now, increasingly, the effects of climate change are altering the ecological balance and depleting renewable resources beyond safe biological limits. These pressures jeopardise the future use of the Baltic’s vast array of ecosystem ‘goods and services’ provided by nature for free.

Why the Baltic Sea matters

Our future and the future of the Baltic Sea are inextricably linked. Not only does the Baltic Sea host several WWF priority species, including the Harbour porpoise, Cod, Salmon and Sturgeon. It’s also surrounded by nine countries that are home to more than 85 million people and diverse political, social and economic realities. Many of these people rely on a healthy Baltic Sea for their food and incomes, and many treasure it as an important space for nature and leisure activities.


The Baltic Ecoregion Programme

The WWF Baltic Ecoregion Programme is made up of WWF and longstanding environmental organization partners in each of the nine coastal Baltic countries. Together, we work to identify solutions to restore the Baltic Sea to a healthy state.


Our work
Sustainable Fisheries

WWF together with fishermen, governments, regional councils and market players, we’re working to reverse the trend by promoting more sustainable practices and educating consumers.

Read more here

Arctic tern
Our work
Integrated Oceans Management

WWF promotes an ecosystem-based integrated oceans management (IOM) approach to ensure that the well-being and needs of both nature and marine users and communities are met, without compromising the integrity and biodiversity of the marine ecosystem.

Learn about IOM

Blue-green algae, Baltic Sea, Finland
Our work
Reduce Eutrophication

We working to address the eutrophication problem in the Baltic Sea by promoting policy reform and more sustainable farming and land management practices.


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