Using a rating scale to measure how well countries protect the sea, the WWF rated Germany and Sweden better than their neighbours, with 36 points each out of a maximum of 79. That's well ahead of Finland, which came in third place, with 29 points as well as Denmark (28 points) and Estonia, Lithuania and Poland, which all scored 25 points.
Russia and Latvia were at the bottom of the scale – which took into account the presence of fertiliser, hazardous substances, biodiversity, navigation and the management of the sea – obtaining 18 and 19 points respectively.
"We need less talk and more actions. If we are to succeed in saving our common sea we need to work more effectively across sectors and national borders," the head of WWF Sweden, Haakan Wirten, said when presenting the organisation's 2011 Baltic Scorecard.
The most important progress was made in fulfilling agreements to manage toxins, WWF said in a statement, stressing however that "much work remains."
On the other hand, all of the countries lost points when it came to biodiversity and fertilisers. The widespread use of the agricultural chemicals can be witnessed through the presence of green algae along the coast.
"Germany has worked particularly hard to reduce its emissions of nutrients and has done fairly well in the other areas," WWF said.
Sweden, on the other hand, got top marks for "implementing environmental commitments for shipping and integrated sea management," Aasa Andersson, in charge of the Baltic at WWF, said. The Scandinavian nation however was the worst in preserving biodiversity.