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Action plan for maritime policy emphasises protection of the seas, the maritime cluster and marine production

Government Communications Department
Publication date 3.3.2022 14.15
Press release 144/2022
Majakka saaressa merellä

On 3 March, the Government adopted a decision on the action plan for Finland’s maritime policy. The plan includes 44 concrete measures for all maritime sectors. The action plan places particular emphasis on protection of the seas, the maritime cluster and marine production.

The action plan for maritime policy is based on the maritime policy outlines of a Government resolution made in 2019. Underlying the preparation of the action plan is the clear need to develop an integrated national maritime policy. The maritime policy and the action plan will help fulfil the goals of the UN 2030 Agenda and the implementation in Finland of the EU Maritime Policy. 

Protection of the seas

The marine environment is under increasing pressure, both in the Baltic Sea and globally: warming and acidification due to climate change, littering, biodiversity loss, oil and chemical accidents, eutrophication and overfishing.

The action plan focuses on strengthening the international legal framework for the environmental protection of the oceans and the implementation of ocean agreements. In this work, active and determined engagement is important. The plan emphasises the development of marine research infrastructure and research capabilities worldwide. There is a significant opportunity and role in the protection of the seas for Finnish solution skills and services exports.

The action plan for maritime policy now published does not focus on the protection of the Baltic Sea. The Baltic Sea is addressed in Finland’s waterways and marine strategy action plans, the EU Baltic Sea Strategy and the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (HELCOM) Baltic Sea Action Plan.

Maritime cluster 

Maritime cluster refers to an entity consisting of the maritime industry, the shipping industry and port activities. In Finland, it is a very important economic actor, and its turnover in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic, was over EUR 14 billion.

For the maritime industry, the action plan emphasises the development of a sustainable maritime industry and promoting the implementation of a level playing field in the EU and in other international significant forums. The aim is also to promote the circular economy by improving the material circulation of the maritime industry and to develop measures to ensure the availability of skilled labour. It is also important to ensure that state procurement of vessels supports the growth of domestic companies as well as to secure the availability of technologies critical for national defence.

For maritime logistics, the action plan prioritises promoting low-emission maritime transport, reducing environmental pressure on the Baltic Sea and promoting conditions for highly efficient logistics. Creating stable and predictable operating conditions and maritime transport safety is important.

Maritime transport and the logistics sector as a whole are facing great changes. Due to its location, Finland must outdo its competitors to succeed in global competition. Around 90% of Finland’s goods exports and 80% of goods imports are transported by sea. The aim is to make maritime logistics a growing industry in Finland with a pioneering role in digitalisation, autonomous transport and emissions reduction. Finland contributes to guaranteeing security of supply and safe and smooth logistics under any circumstances. 

Marine production 

For marine production, the action plan will develop sustainable aquaculture and promote research and development partnerships between the public and private sectors. The plan will launch Foresight research to identify opportunities and develop and utilise competence in maritime technology. The plan will also promote conditions for the construction of maritime energy production.

The oceans and seas provide opportunities for sustainable and low-carbon food and energy production. It is important that the sustainability and responsibility of production is promoted through maritime spatial planning and broad-based cooperation. Finnish competence can also be used to develop aquaculture worldwide.

Inquiries: Jussi Soramäki, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 40 7541898, Prime Minister’s Office