Maritime transport in the Baltic Sea constitutes an important part of the trade and services in the region and for the whole Europe. Baltic shipping is constantly growing and some of the busiest shipping routes in the world go through the Baltic Sea. Consequently, ship exhaust emissions are increasing and affecting large geographical areas due to atmospheric transport of the pollutants.
IMO (International Maritime Organisation) has designated the Baltic Sea as a Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA) requiring a progressive reduction in sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions from ships by 2015.
Due to more stringent international requirements for reducing harmful atmospheric emissions, shipping industry in the Baltic Sea will be faced in the next five years with substantially increased fuel expenses, logistics costs and needs for large investments into low-emission technology and infrastructure. At the same time economies in the Baltic Sea countries are suffering from impacts of the global recession.
In this framework, the Baltic Sea countries are to prepare national implementation plans to bring effect the IMO limitations for emissions. The EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the EU Strategy and Action Plan for the Baltic Sea Region and Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) encourage transnational cooperation between national and regional governance for coordinating various initiatives and making the Baltic Sea a model region for clean shipping in Europe.
Against this backdrop, BSR InnoShip addresses the common challenge of the Baltic Sea countries and the key maritime stakeholders to cooperate in minimizing ship-based air pollution, while aiming at optimizing competitiveness of the maritime industry. The project promotes new and innovative transnational approaches to mitigate the different needs and interests of the maritime sector and to ensure a level playing field for more sustainable and economically viable management of the Baltic Sea resources.
A common result by ISL and Baltic Sea Forum (BSF) is among other things the development of the Baltic Sea Clean Maritime (BSCM) Award, to be awarded annually from 2013.