Completed EMMA analysis supports maritime spatial planning

A report on the Finnish ecologically significant marine underwater areas (EMMA), ordered by the Maritime Spatial Planning Coordination Group, has been completed. The purpose of the analysis is to support Finland’s national maritime spatial planning and other specialist work. The Finnish Environment Institute and Metsähallitus were responsible for the analysis.

The analysis describes 87 areas of ecological significance in all of Finland’s territorial waters, from the Gulf of Finland to the Bay of Bothnia. The diversity, endangerment and distinctiveness of the species and biotopes were taken into consideration when the areas were selected, along with the diversity of the underwater geology. The areas were mostly delineated on the basis of information on marine nature provided by the Finnish Inventory Programme for the Underwater Marine Environment (VELMU), including information on aquatic plants, Baltic Sea biotopes and fish breeding grounds. The analysis includes written descriptions and a database of the areas.

The purpose of maritime spatial planning is to support sustainable blue growth and the good status of the marine environment. The EMMA analysis provides essential information on the locations of underwater natural assets that can be taken into consideration in sustainable planning solutions. The areas described do not correspond to administrative boundaries or conservation areas, nor do they constitute proposals for conservation areas.

The EMMA analysis was financed by the Maritime Spatial Planning Coordination Group with EMFF funding.

The report can be downloaded at