Scenario 3 – the Archipelago Sea and southern Sea of Bothnia

Description of the area


Energy production areas are primarily selected based on the security of supply, which may lead to the decentralisation of energy production. Åland has energy production as a demilitarised zone to support its self-sufficiency. Offshore wind power becomes more common in the southern Sea of Bothnia. The energy union increases cable connections from the west coast to the direction of Sweden.


The ports on the west coast become stronger due to the security environment and the focus of maritime transport moves partly away from the congested Gulf of Finland. Cooperation with Sweden is increased, which is reflected in increased ship traffic, among other things. The threat of cyber influencing makes maritime transport more difficult and the role of maritime surveillance is emphasised. Transport volumes increase and ports are expanded. Cities of the area develop and the significance of ports in the area is emphasised. The fleet is developed and maintained. The strong maritime logistics competence in the area opens up new opportunities for maritime industry and logistics.


The state of the maritime environment is a continuum of the current state. Cattle production in Finland Proper decreases, but field cultivation areas do not decrease because the pressure to produce nutrition remains unchanged or increases, partly due to reasons related to the security of supply. The Sea of Bothnia is a “forgotten area”, and as a result, the state of the marine environment is the best there. The presence of the Finnish Defence Force improves the condition of nature in the defence areas due to the restricted use. Aquaculture increases, which causes a threat to the state of the marine environment in the area.


Fish caught by fishing is a luxury product and recreational fishing gains popularity. The biggest coastal cities of the area offer fishing tourism on fishing boats in the nearby waters. Due to the deteriorated condition of the sea, new species find their way to the area, including the air-breathing catfish. Aquacultured fish becomes everyday food as the consumption of meat decreases. Load to the waters has become a part of food policy control from the perspective of the total load caused by food production and production facilities concentrate on the southern parts of the Sea of Bothnia in particular as the production of pork and chicken has died down. In addition to tax control, load quotas are distributed/bought between agriculture and fishery within catchment areas. The nutrient load quotas are set on a sustainable level. Fur farming has been prohibited due to stricter regulation. Major changes in the utilisation of the Baltic herring catch are needed as a result. The transition is subsidised by the state.

OURISM AND RECREATIONAL USE (incl. cultural heritage)

Destinations near the cities (such as Ruissalo, Yyteri) are important for tourism, and the significance of coastal archipelago increases in the area. People seek some luxury and an escape from the daily life from the nature and the proximity of the sea. Tourism destinations in the archipelago are decreasing in number, however, and the remaining local recreational areas are pressed hard due to tourism overload. Permanent residents leave the archipelago, which also weakens the services of the area from the perspective of tourism. Cultural history destinations of the coastal archipelago and the Sea of Bothnia still attract people and gain in popularity in the changing world. The poor condition of the maritime environment reduces nature tourism and private boating, among other things. The Sea of Bothnia becomes more attractive (cleanliness and safety).

Risks and opportunities

Archipelago Sea and southern Sea of Bothnia


  • Risks include nutrient load from aquaculture, alien species, a Russian-owned nuclear facility, needs of the Finnish Defence Force, loss of local and regional vision, new infrastructure needs of the Finnish Defence Force, denser activity along the coast, placement of aquaculture in unfavourable areas, increasing unmonitored maritime traffic (lack of AIS data, risk of accident)
  • Opportunities: areas closed due to defence reasons ensure the conservation of the nature and the cultural environment
  • To be considered in particular in the planning of the maritime area: marking of risk areas and observing them in planning


  • Risks include reduced fishing and use of the Baltic herring as a threat to aquacultural growth opportunities, reduced tourism and recreation opportunities as a result of expanding use by Finnish Defence Force in the Archipelago Sea, among other things
  • Opportunities include regional recreation, increased self-sufficiency of the area, local food production, development of the transmission grid, increased aquaculture opportunities due to the development of technology, extensive development of the infrastructure through overinvestments
  • To be considered in particular in the planning of the maritime area: interaction between ground and the sea, prioritization, perspective of the security of supply, designation of areas for fishing, observation of ports and activities related to ports


  • Risk include increased inequality, inadequate connections to the archipelago, risks to cultural heritage due to the emptying of the archipelago, people’s reduced freedom, loss of cultural heritage
  • Opportunities include the centralised recreational use of coasts, increase vitality of coastal cities
  • To be considered in particular in the planning of the maritime area: significance of secure transport network and engagement of interest groups are emphasised, emission budgets, ensuring that there are areas for public access (recreation, for example)