State-of-play: The maritime heritage situation

The purpose of the study

The purpose of this part of the seed money project is to map the characteristics of the Baltic Maritime Heritage (BMH) situation, in order to provide a coming main project with a basis for its priorities and construction. The full report surveys the production and origins of the heritage as well as the situation for the remains of the heritage. Here is summarized the SWOT perspective on the heritage situation (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats).

 

A SWOT perspective

Strengths

A well-defined geographical area with a significant joint story to tell
Lighthouses as beacons for the BMH
Wrecks – best conditions in the world
Existing operators and societies with special interest, engaging on often voluntary and non-paid bases to save and to display the BMH to the public

Weaknesses

The Baltic Sea itself – not so clear water, not possible to present wrecks on a mass basis
Eight plus one countries – with different perspective, ambitions and resources in preservation.
BMH in the rural, coastal areas to a large extent being operated by actors with small resour­ces and insufficient means to uphold standard of objects and sites. Lack of time, knowledge and networks.

Opportunities

Abundance of objects, sites and skills to present to visitors (may they be tourists, schools or researchers)
Abundance of possible activities to perform and to replay the events of history (eg building and sailing, fairways)
Access to activities still operating in a modern society (eg pilotage)
New technology available, to learn about BMH and make it accessible, to connect to today´s operations in BMH-areas still “alive” (shipping, trade, fairways, lighthouses …)

Threats

Environmental. Sites and artifacts succumbing to erosion, overgrowth or general unconcern
Urbanization. Lack of permanent residents to take care of and to guide on the BMH. Summer residents more focused on own
wellbeing than on the BMH and BMH visitors.
Disappearing skills. Above all how to build, train and sail traditional boats and ships.
Unsustainable tourism. Large scale tourism uncarefully handled, eroding nature around the BMH.

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