In this paper, activities of the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (HELCOM) are presented. New strategies of the monitoring programme of HELCOM are summarised and some brief examples on the on-going activities related to automated data collection and rapid information dissemination using Internet WWW links are given. The Helsinki Convention of 1974, issued to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea, was the first international agreement to cover all sources of pollution, both from land and from ships as well as airborne. HELCOM works on joint monitoring programmes covering the Baltic Sea environment. Experts from the Baltic Sea States evaluate the data at regular intervals, in order to assess the environmental conditions. The objectives of the monitoring programmes are to identify and quantify the effects of existing anthropogenic discharges/activities in the Baltic Sea, in the context of the natural variations in the system, and to identify and quantify the improvements in the environment as a result of the regulatory actions.