Last two visits in the ports of Riga & Helsinki for the MERMAID project

For their two last visits, the MERMAID consortium has selected the ports of Riga, capital city of Latvia, and Helsinki, in Finland.

They have chosen to go in Northern Europe after 3 port visits in the Mediterranean area plus one visit in the Atlantic Sea. The two ports of Riga & Helsinki had been chosen with the help of the MERMAID Advisory group composed of experts in the environment and maritime fields.


One specific feature of the Finnish port authorities is that the State delivers environmental permits for 8 years that oblige the port to collect environmental data. The three harbours of the Port of Helsinki have their own (separate) environmental permits issued in 2014 by the Regional State Administrative Agency of Southern Finland. The environmental permits include permit conditions concerning noise measurements and noise spreading modelling, air quality monitoring and waste reception and handling.

As regards air quality, the monitoring is carried out every second year at or in the vicinity of one of the Port of Helsinki’s harbours. In 2014 the real-time monitoring of air quality was carried out at the West Harbour, in 2016 (probably) at Vuosaari Harbour. The monitoring is implemented by the Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority HSY and the latest results can be seen on the internet pages of the HSY (

As regards the water quality monitoring, it comprises two sampling points in front of the harbour. At least turbidity, suspended solids and oil concentration have to be analysed. According to the Capitol Region Sea Area Monitoring Programme, having several participators, the water quality sampling frequency has been every third year.

The port also carries out noise speading modelling and monitoring between every third year and every four year and waste monitoring.

Finally,  the port carries out biodiversity monitoring periodically (in case they realize work) and is also involved in the cooperative fishery monitoring on the sea area in front of Helsinki despite it is not required by its environmental permit.

During the visit, the Marketing and Environmental representative showed the MERMAID consortium the harbours and in particular the shore power infrastructure they have installed.


As regards the port of Riga, it is one of the most important port in the Baltic Region.  It transports a lot of different products such as coal, oil products, containers, chemical, wood and also have a cruise terminal which requires to be attentive the environmental impact of the port activities.

It has a lot of environmental projects such as dredging or relocation of activities. One of the main priority of the port is to move the oil zone outside the city. 

The monitoring of the port takes into consideration the following parameter:

  • The air quality since 2007. The parameters are monitored by the Centre for Geology and Meteorology which analyzes the data and then communicate the results on a website.
  • The water quality is monitored through 7 points of measurement. In particular, the port measures oil pollution.
  • Waste (oil,sewage, garbage, cargo residues, exhaust gas, etc.)
  • Waste water
  • Biodiversity
  • Waterfalls
  • Land monitoring system in the terminal

The port is also currently developing a monitoring system for the following parameters: noise, invasive species, fishes resources and smell.

Also, the companies in the port which operate a terminal must be approved by the State and the port.

For more information on the port of Helsinki:

And on the port of Riga:

Monitoring of the operations in the port of Riga

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