Species and habitats in danger : estimating the relative risk posed by oil spills in the northern Baltic Sea

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/176230

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Helle , I , Jolma , A & Venesjärvi , R 2016 , ' Species and habitats in danger : estimating the relative risk posed by oil spills in the northern Baltic Sea ' , Ecosphere , vol. 7 , no. 5 , 01344 . https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.1344

Title: Species and habitats in danger : estimating the relative risk posed by oil spills in the northern Baltic Sea
Author: Helle, Inari; Jolma, Ari; Venesjärvi, Riikka
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Environmental Sciences
University of Helsinki, Environmental Sciences
Date: 2016-05
Language: eng
Number of pages: 17
Belongs to series: Ecosphere
ISSN: 2150-8925
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/176230
Abstract: Large-scale oil spills can have adverse effects on biodiversity in coastal areas where maritime oil transportation is intense. In this article we conducted a spatial risk assessment to study the risk that potential tanker accidents pose to threatened habitat types and species living in the northern Baltic Sea, which has witnessed a rapid increase in maritime oil transportation within the past two decades. We applied a probabilistic method, which combines three components: a Bayesian network describing tanker accidents and uncertainties related to them, probabilistic maps showing the movement of oil, and a database of threatened species and habitats in the area. The results suggest that spatial risk posed by oil spills varies across the area, and does not correspond, for example, to the frequency of accidents in a given area. The relative risk is highest for seashore meadows, which is important to take into account when managing these habitats. Our analysis underlines the importance of a thorough risk assessment, which is not only based solely on one or two specific factors such as accident probabilities or the trajectories of spilled oil but also contains as broad a view of the consequences as possible. We believe that the probabilistic methodology applied in the study will be of high interest to people who have to cope with uncertainties typical for environmental risk assessment and management.
Subject: Baltic Sea
Finnish Archipelago Sea
Gulf of Finland
oil spill
oil spill risk management
spatial risk assessment
threatened habitats
threatened species
GULF
POLLUTION
ACCIDENT
NETWORKS
ECOLOGY
FINLAND
MODELS
WATERS
HAZARD
AREAS
1172 Environmental sciences
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