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The northern Bothnian Bay is a unique area in the most northern part of the Baltic Sea. It is shared between Sweden in the west and Finland in the east. What hides beneath its surface is today still largely unknow. To uphold an effective and sustainable management of the area and its ecosystem services, improved knowledge of the marine environment as well as management collaborations across the border is crucial.

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Bothnian Bay National Park (Perämeren kansallispuisto) outside of Torneå and Kemi on the Finnish side of the bay (Photo by Ville Savilampi, Metsähallitus)

The SEAmBOTH project is a three years project partly funded by Interreg Nord. The main goal of the project is to help ensure the conservation of the biological diversity, habitats, ecosystems and the ecosystem services existing within the Bothnian Bay.

The sea floor will be mapped by high-tech sonars and multibeam equipment, the vegetation will be investigated by scuba divers and in the very shallow areas laser scanning planes will fly across to measure the depths. With the help of the collected and existing data, maps of the underwater landscape are to be produced. The maps will in turn serve as support for decision-makers, urban planners, environmental inspectors etc., as well as providing valuable information for the public.

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Field survey trip investigating the underwater vegetation of the northern Bothnian Bay (Photo by Rahmona Belgaid, Metsähallitus)

 

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