Scenario 1 – the Archipelago Sea and southern Sea of Bothnia

Description of the area

ENERGY

With the onshore wind power capacity fully utilised and increased energy prices, there is more interest towards offshore wind power. Offshore wind power is constructed to the Archipelago Sea and the southern part of the Sea of Bothnia, but less attention is paid to conservation. The shallow depth is beneficial for the construction of offshore wind power. In the Sea of Bothnia, offshore wind power is placed in front of Pori and Rauma and loosely from Uusikaupunki to Pori, perhaps also Merikarvia. More and more land is owned by big corporations which, in this region, may mean that maritime industry companies are interested in acquiring strips of land on the shore.

MARITIME TRANSPORT AND INDUSTRY

Both autonomous and traditional vessels are seen in the maritime area, which increases the monitoring of sea transport. The Archipelago Sea area benefits from new remote control centres as the area has extensive competence and education in the field of shipping. On the other hand, the region is challenging for automated sea transport. Maritime industry and new maritime transport solutions generate lots of vitality in the area, and with university education in the field, the area becomes an internationally renowned centre of blue technology and modern shipping. The reduction of the ice layer increases the number of vessels moving in the area, and in the future, vessels will be able to operate without ice classification and with smaller engines, thereby causing less emissions. The increased sea traffic also increases the risk of accident in the archipelago. Ports are merged and some move to foreign ownership.

STATE OF THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT

Climate change causes significant effects on the area. Dry seasons as well as runoff flows during the rainy season increase. The effect of agriculture on the archipelago increases. The destruction of the marine environment continues and the condition of the seafloor deteriorates in particular. The seafloor is full of filamentous algae and most of the floor is dead.

FISHING AND AQUACULTURE

The possible dismantling of the quota-based regulation system under the companies’ terms threatens the sustainable fishing of fish populations. The utilisation of fish stock is controlled by the perspective of companies’ long-term profit maximisation. Logistics develop and production volumes increase driven by big companies, which allows the launching of new fish-based products through local university cooperation. The competence of the universities of Turku support the development of high added-value products (such as using algae in biofuels). Aquaculture potential is already largely in use in the Archipelago Sea and the focus moves to southern Sea of Bothnia and large farming units. The aquaculture facilities in the area attract foreign investors. From the perspective of livelihoods, the significance of the shore reduces, which weakens the regional economy.

TOURISM AND RECREATIONAL USE (incl. cultural heritage) 

The preservation of the archipelago’s cultural heritage and traditional means of livelihood are at risk. Tourists choose large cruises which result in little benefit to the ports or tourism businesses of the archipelago. Mass tourism focuses on a couple of easy-to-reach targets (such as Örö and Utö). In addition, “artificial” tourist attractions are created. The other forms of use of the maritime area restrict tourism. Permanent habitation of the archipelago reduces and further weakens the service offering. On the other hand, the vitality and attractiveness of cities in the Baltic Sea area increases, which brings opportunities to the archipelago near Turku, among other things. Other cities are also interesting in terms of cultural heritage (e.g., Rauma), but this requires good connections either via the cruise or over land. Activism tourism, on the other hand, brings people to the archipelago for various kinds of nature management tasks.

Risks and opportunities

the Archipelago Sea and southern Sea of Bothnia

ECOLOGICAL STATE OF THE SEA

  • Risks include harm related to the utilisation of minerals, excessive capital focus, increased cruise tourism, risk of oil accidents, increased incidental catch, abandonment of conservation areas, increased onshore activity causing load, pressure on fish farming in the Sea of Bothnia in particular
  • Opportunities include environmental business opportunities, new circular economy solutions, Cleantech
  • To be considered in particular in the planning of the maritime area: The interest of companies and regions should be coordinated as far as possible, good dialogue is central

SUSTAINABLE GROWTH OF BLUE ECONOMY

  • Risks include decision-making escaping further away, corruption, short-sightedness of economic activity and the escaping of benefits, risks of sea transport, larger unit size of operations (risks of scale)
  • Opportunities include major corporation investments to Finland, cruise tourism, increased tourism in the Rauma and Pori regions and the Archipelago Sea, for example, autonomous traffic, development of logistics services, new economic uses of blue-green algae, corporate social responsibility activities
  • To be considered in particular in the planning of the maritime area: The role of coordination is emphasised, large capital and new technology make room for finding solutions

PEOPLE’S WELL-BEING AND PARTICIPATION

  • Risks include the polarization of regions, diminished participation opportunities, withering of border areas, depopulation of the archipelago (effects on the cultural environment), pollution of the area (impacts on health)
  • Opportunities include new job opportunities in tourism, for example, in the Rauma and Pori regions and in the Archipelago Sea
  • To be considered in particular in the planning of the maritime area: The strengthening of participation and steering of land use play a very central role