Tuesday, 03 December 2019 08:53

New measures to reduce nutrients in the Baltic Sea

Written by  "Cohesion through EUSBSR" project

NutriTrade project was finalized in the beginning of 2019 but the work is far from over! This EUSBSR Flagship serves as a good example of project results sustainability and how work continues even if individual projects come to an end.


NutriTrade developed innovative methods to remove nutrients from the Baltic Sea. The aim was to create fast, effective and economically efficient measures by different pilots tested on land, sea and online.

We had a chance to get to know one of these pilots a bit better, Pilot Fish, and to interview Miina Mäki from John Nurminen Foundation who was in charge of the pilot.


Ecological source of food

Pilot Fish in practice means removing nutrients from the sea by fishing. The pilot targeted only low value fish, such as cyprinid fish. “We wanted to bring the fish that people do not normally eat back to their diets, and also to provide an ecological source of food,” Miina explains.

“Without the SMEs we couldn’t have done anything,” Miina says when asking about how the project has worked with local SMEs. Fishermen and local companies form the core of the value chain from fishing to produce the end product for consumers to purchase. “I would say that we would have had no success without the involvement of the private sector.”

We cannot do projects successfully if we only stay in our own bubbles. Companies are often projects’ target groups and end users so their involvement is very important in the planning and implementation of the project, and for the whole project results sustainability. When the potential end users can participate in the project, it is more likely that they incorporate the results in their work. In this way, the project results do not remain only on websites or archives but continue living after the project has ended, Miina elaborates.


Projects can create new business opportunities

The significance of private sector involvement becomes more evident when thinking about investments in the region: “Activities carried out in the project can boost investments in the Baltic Sea region by creating new business opportunities or opening the market for new products. In addition, projects can help with visibility as not many SMEs have big budgets for marketing,” Miina says. 

Thus, cooperation between EU funded projects and private sector is beneficial to both, and in a larger scale contributes to the prosperity and development of the region.


Nutritrade project is also an EUSBSR Flagship project which indicates that the project contributes to the Strategy’s objectives particularly well. In practice, Nutritrade has benefitted from the Flagship status by gaining good cooperation opportunities with EUSBSR Policy Area coordinators and HELCOM. “It is valuable for the project to have a Flagship status.”

Even though the Nutritrade project has been finalized, Pilot Fish activities are still on going. Cooperation with the companies in the value chain remains to ensure that their production possibilities continues. “Lots of cooperation is still needed to create tighter connections between the different steps of the value chain. Traditionally, they do not communicate much, and I would say that improving the communications of different actors in the chain has been one of the most valuable things we have created in the project.”


NutriTrade in a nutshell:

  • In NutriTrade, different pilots (Pilot Fish, Pilot Gypsum, Pilot Mussel, Pilot Nutrient Exchange) were implemented to reduce nutrients in the Baltic Sea
  • The project created a crowdfunding platform “Nutribute” to support or launch a campaign for saving the sea
  • The project provided policy recommendations about nutrient trading as a policy instrument in the Baltic Sea region
  • The project was implemented 2015-2018 by Finland (John Nurminen Foundation, Natural Resources Institute, University of Helsinki) and Sweden (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Anthesis Enveco AB)
  • The project was an EUSBSR Flagship under Policy Area Nutri
  • The budget was 2,1M € of which 1,6M € EU-funds. Financed by Interreg Central Baltic Programme.



The article is part of an European Union funded project "Cohesion through EUSBSR" promoting positive results of EU Cohesion policy in the Baltic Sea macro-region (EUSBSR). 

The article reflects only the author's view and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains. 


With financial support from the European Union




Read 5010 times Last modified on Tuesday, 03 December 2019 10:23