2 February 2021

An online workshop organized in the framework of an INTERREG Baltic Sea Region programme project COMPLETE (www.balticcomplete.com) to present an Early Warning System (EWS) on findings of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens (HAOP) in the Baltic Sea and its implementation in the AquaNIS information system was held on January 19, 2021. The event was organized by the Marine Research Institute, Klaipėda University and attended by 39 participants from 13 countries and intergovernmental organization HELCOM. The participants were introduced to a model agreement that defines the roles and responsibilities of those who send and receive the alert. The “Fast Track” was introduced, which aims to simplify the entry of the data required to send an alert. During the discussion, the participants were asked to answer questions (“Do you know what to do when you receive a warning signal?” and “Do you know which institutions in your country will you send a warning signal to?”). Finally, participants were asked to complete a questionnaire to summarize their views on how the EWS can help implement the Ballast Water Management Convention.

All participants agreed with the EWS concept and ideas expressed at the workshop. They proposed including HELCOM and IMO as important participants in the EWS system and suggested that automatic or semi-automatic signaling for IMO could be useful. It was also suggested that EWS system should be improved in terms of the national communication mechanism while maintaining a harmonized regional approach.

Online photos of the workshop participants below, and the outcome of the report is available as a pdf file.