Applications of ecological knowledge in managing oil spill risk
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In case of oil spills, the distances are short in the Baltic Sea, and in the Gulf of Finland in particular. Preventing their spread must therefore happen quickly. This implies that response plans and comprehensive ecological data are both up-to-date and easily available.

Unique tools

During the project, we developed tools that are unique from a global perspective:

  • A database of endangered species and natural habitats in the Gulf of Finland
  • An online map programme OILRISK Web, which contains the locations of the Gulf of Finland’s most sensitive nature values.
  • A dynamic map application OILRISK Map, that contains the sensitive nature values of Finland’s southern coast. The application can help determine the areas most in need of urgent protection in case of an oil spill, select the appropriate cleaning methods, and assess the relevant cleaning costs and compensation arrangements
  • A cleaning recommendation for endangered natural habitats

These tools combine nature values and the benefits derived from their protection with regard to practical oil spill response work. We developed the applications in cooperation with users and experts from various sectors, simultaneously helping build networks among prevention and environmental authorities.


Total budget was 1,126,048 euros, funded by the EU’s Central Baltic Interreg IV A programme, The Southwest Finland Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, The City of Porvoo, The Eastern Uusimaa Rescue Department, The City of Kotka, Päijät-Häme Regional Council, Tarto University, Investment Centre of Estonia, and the Centrum Balticum foundation’s Archipelago Sea Protection fund.


Kotka Maritime Research Association (coordinator)
University of Helsinki
Tarto University
Finnish Environmental Centre
The Southwest Finland Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment
Aalto University

(valokuva: Jouko Langen/Vastavalo)

Implementation time

1.12.2009 - 30.3.2013