Shipping’s impact on the Baltic Sea

The traffic across the Baltic Sea is likely to increase and this puts pressure on the sea’s ecosystem. The three-year Bonus Project SHEBA (Sustainable Shipping and Environment of the Baltic Sea region), takes a broad view on the impact shipping has on the Baltic Sea. The research will, among other things, provide answers to questions regarding the effects of underwater noise, the spread of micro-particles and how ecosystems are affected by more intense shipping.

All together the project involves eleven partners and some 40 researchers from institutes and universities from all the Baltic Sea countries. New research questions, like the environmental impacts of underwater noise and maritime impacts on ecosystem services under and above water, are all part of the project. The project will, above all, take a comprehensive approach to the costs and benefits of various measures, in the light of different scenarios. The maritime industry has already shown great interest in the project.

IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute is leading a major work package regarding maritime scenarios in the light of various degrees of transport intensity, new fuels, new technologies and new legislations. IVL's research team is also investigating the relationship between the abundance of micro-particles in the Baltic Sea and the combustion of marine fuels, and creating a model of how this is spreading. IVL is also modelling the emissions dispersal and transformation in the air.

Sheba is funded by both FP7 and the Baltic Sea program Bonus. Swedish partners in the project are IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute (coordinator), Chalmers and the Swedish Defence Research Agency, FOI. Several research institutes from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany and Poland are also included in the project.

Project facts


  • Period: 2015-2018
  • Budget: 3 MEUR
  • Contact: Jana Moldanová

Sheba is funded by both FP7 and the Baltic Sea program Bonus