Marine traffic is monitored
The Baltic Sea is the first sea area in the world to have real-time marine traffic monitoring since 2005. Monitoring is especially necessary in the heavy traffic areas of the Danish straits and the Gulf of Finland. Traffic in the area is monitored with the use of radars and the AIS system. The marine traffic in the Gulf of Finland is monitored from the marine traffic control centre in Helsinki.
Every year, 160 million tonnes of oil are transported in the Gulf of Finland, of which more than 50 million tonnes is transported during the ice period in December–March. According to Jorma Rytkönen, development manager of the Finnish Environment Institute, oil spills occurring during icy winters are the most destructive, as collecting oil in the ice is very difficult or almost impossible. The impacts of a potential oil spill during winter can be fatal to, for instance, seals and birds during their arctic migration.