26 April 2018. The EU project COMPLETE (Completing management options in the Baltic Sea Region to reduce risk of invasive alien species introduction by shipping) gained flagship project status from the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) on 26th of September 2018. This demonstrates the high political relevance of ships’ ballast water and hull fouling management to reduce the risk of introduction of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens. The project’s aim to minimize this risk by the development of user-friendly tools and management options is recognized as essential. The flagship status supports conveying the relevant results and recommendations of the COMPLETE project to the policy level and contributes to ensuring that the project results are used in practice.
Status of work of COMPLETE will be presented at the upcoming HELCOM MARITIME meeting (MARITIME 18-2018) to be held on 25-27 September in Hamburg. The meeting documents will be publicly available once the meeting has been held. Link to the HELCOM meeting portal

25-26 April 2018, Riga, Latvia: The COMPLETE project team held its first regular team meeting in Riga. The new project partner LIAE (Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology), who hosted the meeting in Riga, was welcomed by COMPLETE partners. All partners presented the actual status of their project work and the following steps. Methodological approaches were discussed and sub-collaborations on certain topics were agreed. The next project meeting will be held in Gothenburg in December 2018.

5-9 March 2018, Madeira, Portugal: COMPLETE partners participated in the ICES “Working Group on Ballast and Other Ship Vectors” and “Introduction and Transfer of Marine Organisms” and presented and discussed the project at international expert level. 



16-17 November 2017, Helsinki, Finland: Tasks and activities of COMPLETE were discussed in the light of the information needed by TG Ballast for the ongoing amendment of the HELCOM/OSPAR Joint Harmonized procedure on granting exemptions from ballast water treatment provisions of the 2004 International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). (https://bit.ly/2Mnq1Xn; https://bit.ly/2l7Pdos).

COMPLETE project was introduced to the 9th international Steering Committee meeting of PA Ship on 7 November 2017 in Gdansk, Poland (https://bit.ly/2JKVocL).

17-19 October 2017, Tallinn, Estonia: COMPLETE was presented at the BONUS SYMPOSIUM “Science delivery for the sustainable use of the Baltic Sea living resources” (http://www.bonus-inspire.org/symposium) with a poster presentation of the project aims and activities.

10-12 October 2017, St. Petersburg, Russia: Tasks and planned activities of the COMPLETE project were presented at the 17th Meeting of the HELCOM Maritime Working Group (MARITIME 17-2017).