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SPICOSA: Gulf of Riga

Type of Entry: Case Study
Duration: 01/02/2007 - 31/01/2011

The Gulf of Riga is situated between the Estonian and Latvian mainland and Saaremaa Island.

The Gulf is an estuarine, land-dominated area. A separate ecological subsystem exists in the gulf. The gulf is a very productive area of the Baltic Sea. On the southern (Riga and its satellite towns) and eastern (Pärnu) coasts of the gulf important holiday resorts have existed long time. Nowadays the importance of tourism has enormously increased both on the mainland and especially on the islands.

The catchment area is rather flat and constitutes 134 000 km². Five relatively large rivers (Daugava, Lielupe, Gauja, Pärnu, Salaca) and a number of smaller rivers discharge into the gulf. The gulf is surrounded by densely populated areas as well as intensely used agricultural areas situated on the southern and eastern coasts.

Human activities impact to this area are industry, agriculture, fishing and other sources.

Eutrophication, harmful algal blooms and toxic pollution of the gulf; protection of the coasts, beaches and coastal waters including the areas of intense tourism; need for the ratification of the IMO ballast water regulations; recognition of the socio-economic and ethic value of marine resources (bottom vegetation, invertebrates, fish, birds, seals) and marine environment. During the period covered by the time series indicated below, policy changes have been in the following: 1) enforcement of fishing rules; 2) protection of marine environment and ecosystems; 3) protection of resort areas.

Keywords: Environmental management, Estuary and lagoon, Nature conservation, Policy, Society and economy
SPICOSA Case Study - Gulf of Riga (240.251 Bytes)
Contact: Evald Ojaveer
Estonian Marine Institute of the University of Tartu
E-Mail: evald.ojaveer@ut.ee
Partner: Core Partner: Institute of Aquatic Ecology, University of Latvia (Dr. Maija Balode).