COMPLETE ─ flagship project for the Baltic Sea Region
At the end of September 2018 the COMPLETE project (Completing management options in the Baltic Sea Region to reduce the risk of invasive alien species introduction by shipping), in which the University of Gdańsk is partner, was granted flagship status. Such a distinction is given as part of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) only to projects of great importance and proves the significance of the problem of the introduction of invasive species through shipping to regional policy. In order to minimise the risk of these harmful marine organisms and pathogens being introduced through two main vectors ─ ballast water and ship hulls, it is important to devise easy to use tools and management options, uniform over the entire Baltic Sea region. This is the main objective of the COMPLETE project, in which one of the key and innovative results will be a roadmap (with the participation of stakeholders) for a regionally harmonised strategy of managing biological pollution introduced by ship hulls (so-called biofouling). Owing to the flagship status, the results obtained and recommendations devised will have a greater chance of reaching the legislative level, which in turn will make it possible for them to be used in practice.
The COMPLETE project is being implemented by 12 partners from Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden, which cooperate with 23 affiliated organisations from all the countries of the Baltic Sea region, comprising research institutions, ministries of transport, maritime economy and environment and their agencies, private businesses connected with the maritime sector (e.g. shipping companies and ship owners, port authorities and non-governmental organisations). They include the Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation, the Port of Gdynia Authority S.A. and the Polish Register of Shipping S.A. The lead partner in the project is Kotka Maritime Research Association from Finland (coordinator: Dr Miina Karjalainen, e-mail: email@example.com), while on behalf of the University of Gdańsk it is headed by Dr hab. Monika Normant-Saremba, associate professor from the Faculty of Oceanography and Geography (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Source of funding: European Regional Development Fund, INTERREG Baltic Sea Region 2014-2020 Programme. Implementation period: 1 October 2017 – 30 September 2020.