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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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Is our most valuable nature also our most endangered?

We did two exercises in the SEAmBOTH project. First, we used the MOSAIC tool to determine how valuable certain nature types or habitats are. The tool lets experts consider different aspects of the nature type, for example, how critical this environment is to a certain species’ specific events of life, like spawning, or if this … Continue reading Is our most valuable nature also our most endangered?

Identified as a significant marine area by UN convention

What does the northern Bothnian Bay have in common with for example the Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion on the Indonesian archipelago? Not the corals, sharks or sea turtles but well enough the identification as EBSA areas (Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas). Or as stated on the EBSA website “special places in the world’s oceans” (Photo … Continue reading Identified as a significant marine area by UN convention

Special species: Nuttall’s waterweed – an invasive species

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