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Maritime cultural heritage to be integrated into maritime spatial planning with the launch of the BalticRIM project

The Baltic Sea states are aiming to become an international model area for maritime spatial planning. The underwater cultural heritage of the Baltic Sea is exceptionally diverse and well-preserved, even in global terms. The aim of the BalticRIM project is to integrate maritime and underwater cultural heritage into maritime spatial planning in Europe. The project will chart the most interesting concentrations of shipwrecks, naval battle zones and underwater cultural landscapes found in the Baltic Sea and Finland. At the same time, the project will improve the accessibility and usability of maritime cultural heritage, and support so-called blue growth, such as maritime tourism.

Maritime spatial planning helps promote the sustainable development and growth of the different ways in which maritime areas are used, as well as the achievement of the good state of the marine environment. In Finland, three maritime spatial plans will be collaboratively drawn up by the country’s coastal regional councils by the end of March 2021. The field work to be conducted in different parts of the Baltic Sea and Finland as part of the BalticRIM project will provide new information on maritime cultural heritage. Instead of producing location-specific information, the project will focus on charting larger areas of maritime and underwater cultural heritage, including old ports, naval battle zones areas and concentrations of shipwrecks.

The project will also organise workshops, the purpose of which is to allow divers, local actors and residents to share valuable experience-based information. Divers’ preferences and wishes will be surveyed with the help of participant surveys, and the research portion of the project will also examine how underwater landscapes are experienced.

The BalticRIM project will create good practices for defining and planning various maritime cultural heritage sites, for conducting conflict and synergy reviews and for promoting sustainable blue growth, such as maritime cultural heritage tourism. The project will also involve collaboration with a number of other maritime spatial planning and cultural heritage tourism projects.

The BalticRIM (Baltic Sea Region Integrated Maritime Cultural Heritage Management) project’s partners include national cultural heritage management and maritime spatial planning experts from countries in the Baltic Sea region, namely Germany, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Denmark and Russia. The project is coordinated by the State Archaeological Department of Schleswig-Holstein (Germany). The project’s Finnish project partners are the National Board of Antiquities, Metsähallitus Parks and Wildlife Finland and the University of Turku. Other national partners include Ålands Landskapsregering Kulturbyrån, the Regional Council of Kymenlaakso and the Finnish Divers’ Federation.

The project has been named one of the flagship projects of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, in addition to which it is supported by the region’s principal maritime spatial planning organisation, HELCOM-VASAB. The project will begin in autumn 2017 and end in summer 2020. The project has received funding from the BSR Interreg programme.

More information
National Board of Antiquities, intendant Sallamaria Tikkanen,, + 358 295 33 6312
Metsähallitus Parks and Wildlife Finland, Anu Riihimäki,, + 358 408 42 1916

Press Photos

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Slätlandet ship trap area in RaaseporiA diver is looking at the horizon.
Underwater survey is taking place at the site of Slätlandet ship trap area in Raasepori. Photo: Juha Lauro, Sukellusseura H2O
A diver is looking at the horizon. Photo: Niko Anttiroiko, National Board of Antiquities


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Last updated 4.7.2017
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